As we send students to Playhouse Square this week to begin rehearsals for the Dazzle Awards, it seems a fitting time to post this guest blog, written by veteran Drama parent Tom Weyenberg. Tom has been with us since 2006 and watched his sons Andy, Matt, and Jamey play a variety of roles both on and off stage. On May 6, Tom and his wife Laura were inducted into the Drama Club Community Hall of Fame.
This spring I had the privilege of being the only adult backstage during the Solon High School production of Shrek the Musical. Not to say that adults - parents and advisors - didn't help, indeed they were key pieces of the production. What I mean is that once "set for top of Act I" was called, backstage is an all-student production. Some background: because we brought in flying effects, the contract called for an supervisor, which was me. We also had two young-adult SHS graduates on the flying rig. From our flying position behind stage right first legs, I was able to observe the all-student crew and cast put on an amazing musical.
Although I was backstage, what I had was a front row seat to a top-notch leadership training program. Here is what I saw in the "leadership lab"
Sports and academic teams talk a lot about building leadership but they have got nothing on the Drama Club. The leadership skills that these students are learning will be valuable through college and into the workplace. Crew is by design behind the scenes and I don't think it's widely understood what a great experience the crew is getting. My sincere thanks to Kris and Joe for giving students the opportunity to lead and learn.
Kristina J. Ferencie has directed the SHS Drama Club since 2001.