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
Divine Savior Holy Angels High School - Milwaukee, WI
It's not often that our jaws drop to the floor when seeing what certain high schools offer for theatre education. But it's impossible not to be overly impressed with what Divine Savior Holy Angels High School is offering their students when it comes to performing arts.
Under the masterful direction of Michael Stoddard, students, at the all girls school just outside the city of Milwaukee, are able to take part in not only one of the best high school theatre programs we've seen, but a level of attention that most colleges don't offer as well.
First of all they offer an incredible selection of courses for students to partake in. While many schools offer one or two classes in theatre, DSHA offers couses like Acting I / Intro to Theatre,
Acting II, Acting the Classics, Musical Theatre Company, Advanced Acting, Playwriting I
Theatre Production, Apprenticeships and Stagecraft I, II. That's almost a theatre major within itself.
DSHA also produces not one, not two but four shows a year, providing an entire season of different types of material for their students. In the past couple of years alone their productions include The Nerd, The Crucible, Bat Boy, Sweet Charity, Trojan Women, Korczak's Children and Ragtime. In fact, DSHA were Best Musical winners of Wisconsin's Tommy Awards three years in a row.
Finally, the facilities at DSHA are fantastic. They have the Hansen Family Fine Arts Theatre, a 752 seat state-of-the-art theatre. In addition to that, they also have the DSHA Arena Theatre, an adaptable 100 seat black box theatre. Not many schools can boast two separate state of the art performance spaces.
In addition to Michael Stoddard, the faculty at DSHA is excellent. Technical Director Amanda Marsala received her education at UW-Stevens Point which we ranked as one of the most underrated theatre programs in the entire country.
Mr. Stoddard himself says, "Not only do we strive to put on professional quality productions, but we teach the importance of fun, responsibility, leadership, teamwork and self-confidence. We strive to create an atmosphere in our classrooms and our productions that allow students to step outside their comfort zones, take risks and ultimately become more confident and creative young women.."
And while students are receiving a fantastic education here at DSHA, it's wonderful to see their students go on to elite programs like The Boston Conservatory, Oberlin College, and Belmont University.
I'd say they're doing a remarkable job. I can honestly say many of us here wish we had the opportunities that DSHA students are enjoying.
From all of here at OnStage, we want to congratulate the students and staff at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School for all their amazing work and wish them nothing but the best on their production of Into the Woods, which opens tonight. Break legs!