My old high school has decided to cut the theatre department. Of course! The arts area always the first to go. So, here I am, not letting that happen.
Letter to the editor:
The drama department of Kennebunk High School, of any school really, always seems to be considered the least important. First will go art, then music, drama, finally after school programs, athletics. Why are the fine and performing arts considered so dependable? Is it because in drama there is no test except your performance? Is there no group work except the whole show? Is it because arts cannot be quantified and wrapped in a neat little package to prove to the districts the children are learning? It seems wrong that something with so much purpose should be cut completely.
As an alumni of Kennebunk High School, going back to 2005, I remember being in drama – both for class and for the performances each semester and summer. There is a sense of togetherness the students feel. A sense of laughter and community. One of the most crucial life experiences I took away from Kennebunk High School was a sense of community and caring, support for those around you. Almost every friend at my most recent alma mater told me how much high school was fend for yourself, or so stereotypical in its clichés, how their drama and art departments were cut. Maybe there is little correlation, but maybe the relations are more than the district believes.
The drama department provides an escape. It allows kids who love to perform a chance to experience something new, to read a new play, to express themselves visually in a constructive way; and sometimes, it gives the students who do not always want to go home a place to be with people, and build connections. Not to mention, if a student is serious about acting (and I generalize to this but encompass all performing arts) how will they ever hone their skills and get into a college for acting if they have never had the experience of acting on a real stage? I realize Kennebunk is a wealthier community, but not everyone can afford acting lessons. A high school drama department is a good place to start.
I suppose as someone as liberal as myself I fail to see why self expressions are always the first programs to go. I do understand that History cannot be cut, nor English, Math, Science – that would be irresponsible. But I also believe that cutting out a program all together is irresponsible. Should there not be another way to keep the drama department. Rearrange the budget? Fundraising? Community involvement? I live in New York state and I heard about this tragedy, I would say that by cutting out this department you are effecting more than the current (and future) students. Everyone who ever walked those halls, sat in that auditorium, watched skits from “Grease” on fifties day , or even performed as an extra in “Les Miserable” (my only claim) will be effected by this cut. I am not a budget expert, but I believe there has to be a way to save this department. Do not make the mistake of cutting something that binds students together. Do not take away their liberal education.
Kennebunk High School Alumni 2005