Every actor, director, designer, stage manager started somewhere. For many of us, it was in high school. Every year we see thousands upon thousands of future theatre professionals start their journeys on various high schools stage across the country.
So here at OnStage, every week, we want to honor high school theatre programs all over the country that are making the performing arts, a priority within their curriculum, not to mention putting on some fantastic productions.
If you know a high school in your area that is doing an incredible job of laying the foundation for future theatre professionals, let us know by emailing, firstname.lastname@example.org
Holy Trinity High School - Hicksville NY
Located just about 30 miles from Times Square, Nassau County, Long Island has been a breeding ground of future performers for decades. The talent, but more importantly, the encouragement from the communities there is overwhelming to see.
One school in particular, that is leading the charge of inspiring more and more students to hit the boards is Holy Trinity High School in Hicksville, NY.
Beyond just their fantastic performing arts program, Holy Trinity has been recognized as of the most outstanding high schools in the nation by the U.S. Dept of Education. This is probably due to a combination of their excellent academic standards and the fact that 98% of their students go onto college.
Holy Trinity has a storied theatre program. They were used as the test school to see if productions like Les Miserables and Once On This Island could work as high school productions.
An alum of the school told us, "We were visited by Cameron Mackintosh during their test production to make sure the quality of the performance and cuts that were made would do justice to the show. He was thrilled and even asked for the Barricade to be brought out again so that he could see how we did it. There were concerns about how schools could do Les Mis on a small budget."
Holy Trinity's Performing Arts Department is not strictly extracurricular. The program, which one must audition to get into, consists of a four-year training which includes daily classes in acting, choir, and dance. The program is currently headed by Catherine Murphy. Along with its productions, Holy Trinity's Select Choir has attended and won awards at Festival Disney as well as performed for television and at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. They also offer a fantastic summer performing arts camp for middle and high school students.
Alumni have gone off to colleges with strong theatre programs such as Pace University, Hofstra University and Adelphi University. They have also appeared in Broadway shows such as If/Then and Something Rotten! and include Glee cast member, Jenna Ushkowitz.
There is a lot to be impressed by with Holy Trinity High School and I have a feeling that under the leadership of Catherine Murphy and the incredible faculty including Holy Trinity Alum, Ian Sullivan, we're going to be seeing the results of this outstanding theatre program on stage for years to come.