Smells Like Teen Spirit

From Joanna Horowitz, Communications Department

I just came back from taking photos of students from three local high schools warming up for their show tonight, Teenspeak: My Name Is (for details, see the blog below "Thinking, Talking"). I don't feel right posting pictures of our high schoolers (although I can testify they were giggly then they were impressively focused), but I do feel fantastic posting this picture of our Education Programs Manager Scott Koh, taken just prior to warm-ups, which he clearly didn't need.

Scott might be making that face because the education team has got a bit of the crazy, winding down a really intense year. This particular Teenspeak project, under the guidance of Scott's fellow Education Programs Manager Fran Kao, has been a year in the making and now will be debuted and closed in less than 40 minutes in one night. Without any breather, they all launch into Drama Intensive, a collaboration with The Center School. Playwriting students work with Education Director Andrea Allen to help shape a script (this year's is an adaptation of the restoration comedy School for Scandal) then switch gears to become the actors while another class designs sets and costumes. I was involved in the marketing last year for the circus-y "Pants on Fire." It was fun and exhausting, and I think I made that Scott Koh face more than once.

It is cool, though, with so many education programs happening, there's always a sense of vitality around here. We have a new crop of post-college interns every year (you can read their blog here), high school interns at different points in the season, and very often some students in one of the rehearsal spaces preparing for something under the direction of one of our teaching artists. We pack out the student matinees, which, for shows like Fire on the Mountain, become something of a rock concert (you should have heard the girls squeal over hottie Lorenzo Pisoni in The Great Gatsby, of course I did too, so that's not really a high school thing). It's just a nice reminder that these are (we hope) the next generation of arts patrons; some are already. The sustainability of theater really depends on them. Scary? Yes, sometimes, when you're teaching a class and can't compete with iPods and cell phones, but also exciting. When they're committed, they are committed and producing really amazing stuff.

Speaking of, time to go down and watch the My Name Is Project. Would it be horrible to have a cocktail at the bar downstairs before I go? I want to try out the new Gem of the Ocean specialty drink (a gimlet, called the Aught 4). Ok, ok, I'll wait until after.

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