Fiddler on the Roof
Last night we watched a group of students from the Newton School District go through their final practice before presenting their game to the public on Friday and Saturday evenings. This game is not for a championship or even for a winning score. But it is still being performed by a team of students that have practiced long and hard. They have overcome many obstacles along the way to do what they have been learning to do since entering Junior High. There was talk that this was too big of a game for their talents. There was a lack of help in practicing the songs. There were scheduling conflicts that kept them from practicing as a group. There were roadblocks from the weather that cancelled rehearsals. Then they would get together in small groups to learn lines. This has brought them to the end of practice and now for that big game.
So who will come to watch them perform, their parents and other family members along with a few close friends? Oh but they are performing in a school venue that is open to the public. There are over 700 seats, so available space is not the problem. This group of students has formed a team that will be presenting their game for you to come and support just as the athletic teams receive your support. When you cheer and make noise in the stands, the athletes hear it and try harder to make that first down or that next basket. Well, these actors draw energy from your applause and laughter to perform better as well. And when the seats are empty there is nothing to lead them on to a better performance.
When a school activity is not supported by the general public, it appears to the school district that it is not a necessary activity to continue offering to the students. We have seen this in the orchestra concerts, which have now been eliminated. Is the theatre the next activity to go? Not every student has the athletic ability to make the sports teams. But every student should have the opportunity to be on the team of their choice, be it sports, art, theatre, or music. Each of these teams needs to be supported by more than just parents of the current students for them to remain a valid school activity. We need to show the school district that there is continued support for the arts as well as the athletic programs in our community! If we don’t support them, the arts programs may not be available when your children or grandchildren want to participate in this school district.
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