The Arts are Being Cut From Schools at Record Rates, But Music & Theater Programs are Thriving in Southern Indiana
I feel like an old fuddy-duddy when I use the phrase "back in my day" (and when I use the phrase fuddy-duddy), but sometimes it's necessary to add context to an article or story. I'm gonna have to use it here so please don't judge me.
Back in my day, the production value of a high school musical was nowhere near what you would expect to see today. The sets, the costumes, the sound, and the lights all seem much higher quality these days. Here are two examples from my personal experience.
- My junior year (that would've been 1992), I played Tevye in our production of Fiddler on the Roof. Picture this...a 5' 10", 150-pound weakling with a high-and-tight flattop trying to portray a big, burly, 60-year-old Jewish man with several kids. My costume consisted of a fake (wimpy) grey beard and a pillow under my shirt. Not the most convincing get-up.
- All of our shows were put on in the school's "cafetorium." I put that in quotes because I'm not sure it's a real word. It is, however, a combination cafeteria and auditorium.
The point I'm trying to make with these comparisons is that back in my day (there's that phrase again), the productions seemed to be for the parents and grandparents of the cast more than anyone else. In all my years, I don't really remember seeing a bunch of students or random people from the community coming to see a show - that's probably because there wasn't a whole lot to see. That is definitely not the case these days. The production value, and the talent, of the shows put on by high schools here in southern Indiana, are miles ahead of what they used to be. They are just really good, entertaining shows, worth spending a few bucks on even if you don't know anyone in the cast. You'll have a few chances to see what I'm talking about for yourself this weekend at several Evansville high schools.
EVSC Spring Musical/Play Schedule
Four of the five EVSC high schools are putting on musical productions this weekend - the fifth school will present their show in May. All shows will be held at each school's theaters/auditoriums.
F. J. Reitz Theatre presents MATILDA the Musical
Matilda tells "the story of an extraordinary girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence, and psychokinetic powers."
Showtimes are Thursday, March 10th through Saturday, March 12th at 7:00 pm, and Sunday, March 13th at 2:00 pm at the F.J. Reitz High School Auditorium, located at 350 Dreier Blvd, Evansville, IN 47712. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and are available at fjreitztheatre.com and on-site 40 minutes prior to each performance.
North High School presents 9 to 5 March 10-13
Harrison High School presents Little Shop of Horrors March 10-13
Central High School presents Oklahoma! March 10-13
On May 13th and 14th, Bosse will present the Bosse Theatre Project, a show written and performed by high school students.
And how about some love for the choir?
Castle High School in Newburgh shared this exciting announcement on Facebook...
Want to Get Your Kids Involved in Theater?
There are several options in the Evansville area for young people to express their creativity and show off their artistic abilities, whether that's through singing, dancing, acting, painting, etc. Here are just a few examples...
- The Foundry Center for the Arts
- STAGEtwo Productions
- Evansville Civic Theater
- Theatre Workshop of Owensboro
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