I didn’t know that Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic was available for licensing, but Winnacunnet High School in New Hampshire did! I would have included it on my Independent Study reading list.
Minnesota’s Moorhead High School presents Matilda. If one judges the success of high school theatre programs on the professional careers of alumni – and many do – Moorhead has cause for celebration with 11 Broadway artists. Matilda, recently released for amateur performance, is going to be a part of many high school theatre seasons this year.
When I first read the article title, “Centarus High School Theatre Tackles Hard Issues in Wilderness,” I first wondered if there was a typo which deleted “Ah” and an exclamation point. But the Centarus Theatre Company in Lafayette, Colorado is not presenting the Eugene O’Neill classic. Instead, Wilderness is a docu-drama focusing on an all-too-common rite of passage for “troubled” teens – the summer “boot camp.” Cleo Mirza of Westword has written a great piece that shows how carefully teacher-director Jay Kinsel conducted casting, rehearsals, and performances for the show.
In Texas, St. Joseph High School presents Unwrapped, a murder mystery. The setting of the comedy is 1930s Hollywood.
The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland has a “Monty Python…atmosphere.”
LET THE WINTER HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENTS COMMENCE!
In Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Carlton Comprehensive High School’s Mad Hatter Theatre Company (I love it when high schools name their theatre departments!) has a holiday panto production of Snow White. A pantomime – a British children’s theatre tradition for Christmastime- is a great way to expand your students’ performance repertoire.
Here’s a holiday that’s not often the subject of a (non-15-minute elementary school) theatre production! The Thanksgiving Play at Greenville, South Carolina’s Warehouse Theatre sounds like it’s a hilarious send-up on devised theatre.
Teacher-director George Hosker-Bouley might be one of the busiest artists in educational theatre; he’s certainly the busiest one in York County, Maine! He has productions of A Christmas Carol (in its tenth year!) and his own play, Beyond the Sea, going up within weeks of each other.
In Chico, one of the communities affected by the Camp Fire – the deadliest wildfire in California’s history – a collection of performances titled Joy Will Find a Way was a way for victims to remember and heal. Visual, literary, and performing artists all contributed to the piece.
A professor at the University of South Carolina has created ReformED, a piece devised from surveys of teachers across the United States. Peter Duffy says “The public school experience is profoundly American.”
AWARDS and CONTESTS
The Center Theatre Group has announced the participants for the 2019-2020 Disney Musicals in Schools program. The Center Theatre Group grants funds to Los Angeles-area schools; they’ve awarded ten elementary schools money for productions in the last two years.
The 24th Annual Young Playwrights Festival at the Wharton Center Institute for Arts and Creativity is accepting submissions until December 2. High school students in Michigan are eligible.
Golden Isles Arts & Humanities has started a PlayReaders Book Club in Brunswick, Georgia. It’s never too late to start studying theatre!
Kansas City’s NPR station has a true STEAM challenge for students: help theatre companies navigate the impact of climate change on their spaces and audiences!