How Theatre Has Changed in 10 Years

Have you ever heard of the proverbial frog in boiling water?
If you put a frog in boiling hot water, it will jump out immediately. If you put the same frog in a pot of cold water and slowly turn up the heat, it will stay and slowly boil to death, becoming accustomed to the conditions.  That is what has slowly happened to performing arts.  While the latest cut is what has brought the most outrage and attention, it is hardly the first.

There will always be difficult choices for leadership.  Budgets, schedules, academics, it is never an easy choice and tough calls have to be made.  However, given the importance of arts on the human condition and student experiences, I think the following is quite disheartening:

BEFORE

  • Fall musical
  • Fall comedic play
  • One Act
  • Winter dramatic play
  • Winter musical or Showcase
  • Spring musical
  • Summer all ages musical
  • Musicals ran 3 weekends, running profitable and supporting other activities
  • Plays ran 2 weekends, with audiences building on word of mouth for second weekend
  • Community outreach programs - Hospital tours, special needs/Autism performances, etc
  • Elementary/Junior high preview performances
  • Theatre has no annual budget to support program, must rely on ticket sales and fundraising.

CURRENT OR PROPOSED

  • Fall musical
  • Fall comedic play - GONE
  • 3 One Acts
  • Winter dramatic play
  • Spring musical - GONE (proposed)
  • Showcase
  • Summer Musical - GONE
  • Musicals run 2 weekends - SHORTENED
  • Plays run 1 weekend - SHORTENED
  • Community Outreach - GONE
  • Elementary / Junior High Previews - GONE
  • Theatre has no annual budget to support program, must rely on ticket sales and fundraising.

Please support BHS and ISD191 leadership as they review the performing arts and make those difficult decisions. However, please also remind them why the arts are so important and why they should continue to be available for our growing population of students.