Theater department blues

Perry Meridian, the home of the silver and the blue, proudly supports all extra-curricular activities. However, when it comes down to academics and sports, sports is priority number one. Clubs such as FLOTS and NHS are looked at more than the theater department is. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. 

Theatre has always been a part of history, considering Shakespeare created some of the most iconic plays in the world. To many students and teachers at PMHS, theatre is a way to bring happiness and excitement to the rest of the student body. However, this year there is a lack of students willing to even try theatre.

The class of 2022 had a large group of students that was always seen in FEST, the plays and musicals. Now that a new year has started and the class of 2023 is the senior class, the theater department is looking at less willing seniors to do theatre.

Currently, Thomas Tutsie is the teacher in charge of running the plays. Having just started his teaching career at PMHS in 2020, Tutsie has given the school one play and one winter theatre showcase, as well as running the improv team. 

“Getting involved in theatre opens up the advantage to students because what they don’t think about is that when they get a job, they are going to have to use these skills and get used to talking in front of people. Theatre is just a fun way to get used to it,” Tutsie said.

Tutsie is looking forward to this year’s fall play, Almost, Maine. Tutsie is hoping he can fill all 18 roles, but he fears he may have to double-cast a few people because of the lack of students interested.

“Since the seniors from last year are gone, there is such an opportunity this year for new actors to have a chance. This play has so many roles that gives an even bigger opportunity to those students who are looking into getting into theatre,” Tutsie said.

Natalie Friar, the assistant director for the musicals performed at PMHS, is also a little worried with the amount of participation in theatre this year.

“I think some of it [student participation] has to do a lot with word of mouth from current students who do it, especially with the encouragement that they give,” Friar said.

The musical for this year has not been announced yet, but once it is, Friar is excited to see the relationships between actors and technicians. The benefits to joining theatre at PMHS are strong ones. 

“Theatre is just such an amazing outlet for creativity, whether it’s through singing, dancing or acting. It even gives students who don’t want to be on stage an opportunity to have recognition through tech,” Friar said.

The theater department definitely needs more participants. In past years, students have gotten jocks to be in musicals. Not only is theatre important to theatre kids and to the teachers who advocate for it, theatre is important to the entirety of the school because of the creativity it holds.