I found this article after attending the California Thespian Festival and immediately thought about all the high powered seniors in our theatre classes. Please know that I didn’t write the article; it’s written by Casey McDermott at the Student Press Law Advocate. And it starts like this…
When Larissa Mark and her peers found out last August that their high school would be performing “Rent: School Edition” — an adaptation of the popular show by Jonathan Larson, which addresses issues related to sexuality, drug use and HIV/AIDS — as its spring musical, they were ecstatic. A few months later, though, Principal Mark Guarino informed students that the show would be put on hold because of concerns about its content. You can find the rest of the article here…
So the folks at Student Press Law Center interviewed the students involved with this experience. Please read the entire article about how a group of theatre kids campaigned with parents, fellow students, and community members, to encourage a principal to change his mind about doing an edgy show.
Below, find another fantastic excerpt from the article.
Your involvement in theater and the thespian program, do you feel like it’s helped you to find a voice?
LM: Being in theater is the first time where I’ve really had to take on responsibility — not only for myself, but something larger than me. And that goes a lot into civic virtue and being an active citizen. While I might be active in this community here, eventually I’m going to want to be active in a larger one, as well. While our change might just be producing an art that can create social commentary and create a message for an audience, I think that is an idea of expression in general and of our First Amendment rights: We’re given the ability to produce material that can create change and be a part of our society. And the thespian society, without them, I never would be able to speak in public as well as I can. I never would have made the step to growing up so fast. –Larissa Mark
So Tell Us
Ahhh. Using our theatre powers for good.
What made senior high school student, Larissa Mark, successful in her campaign to reinstate “Rent: School Edition” at her school?