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Monday, December 11, 2023

High school theater participation is up– as are issues about censorship, study discovers: NPR

The yearly study of the most popular high school musicals and plays is out. In addition to leading 10 lists, the report discovers participation is up 13% however theatre instructors are stressed over censorship.


The most carried out musical at high schools this previous year was …


KELLY: …” The Addams Household.” That’s according to the yearly play study launched today by the Educational Theatre Association, as NPR’s Elizabeth Blair reports.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: There is some excellent news and some tension amongst high school theater instructors. Initially, theater programs are rebounding from the pandemic. Usually, participation is up 13% from in 2015.


UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT STAR # 1: (As Damian Leigh) Great early morning. Invite to high school.

BLAIR: “Mean Women” remains in this year’s leading 10. This is from J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas.


UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT STAR # 1: (As Damian Leigh, singing) They call those 3 the plastics. They’re glossy, phony and tough.

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT STAR # 2: (As Janis Ian, singing) They play their little mind video games all around the schoolyard.

BLAIR: More than 2,300 instructors reacted to the play study. It’s a glance into what’s popular and the academic environment. At a time of book prohibiting and plays being challenged, 85% stated they are at least rather worried about censorship. Sixty-seven percent stated those issues are affecting their choices for next year.

JENNIFER KATONA: So these are instructors who are actually in self-preservation mode.

BLAIR: Jennifer Katona is the Educational Theatre Association’s executive director.

KATONA: Educators understand that they require to be clever about what they’re placing on their phases so that they can keep the areas for their trainees.

DANNY ISSA: Simply a single grievance from a moms and dad can have a program pulled.

BLAIR: Danny Issa is the theater instructor at Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington, Va. Regardless of his issues about censorship, he and a great deal of other schools placed on “Practically, Maine,” a play about relationships that consists of 2 gay characters.


UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT STAR # 3: (As Chad) Since there is something in this world that does make me feel excellent or make good sense to me, and it’s you, Randy.


BLAIR: Issa states the very first time he directed “Practically, Maine,” he asked his predecessor about the prospective reaction.

ISSA: And he stated, you understand, I’m not going to censor anything we placed on the phase. Like, these are genuine problems that our trainees are going through, that individuals are going through, that our neighborhood is going through. And I understand that here at this school district, the administration is going to have our back no matter what. And I felt so empowered by his message of not pulling back from prospective debate since it’s what our trainees are going through.

BLAIR: Issa states so lots of people appeared for closing night, they needed to open the terrace. Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.

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