Even the next block over can be an adventure - Troublesome Creek that winds through Hindman, Kentucky is where my adventure began

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hither: High School performances give big bang for the buck

If there's any hope to be seen in the world, it's in a high school auditorium during a student production. Seriously. Fortunately, this is a joy any traveler can experience.

This past Friday night, I spent three hours in utter joy at the Ft. Hayes Performing Arts High School's spring dance performance. My daughter wasn't dancing, but was in charge of  the lighting. This lighting gig of hers has put me in the audience of the school's production of "West Side Story," "You Can't Take it With You," "The Odd Couple" and two dance performances.

There's an earnestness about high school students who walk out onto a stage and claim their right to be watched and applauded-- whether the person is particularly talented or not-- that brings out the best in people. In the case of what I've seen at Ft. Hayes productions, talent is served up in large portions. (Not to mention dedicated teachers who rally their charges to put forth their best.)

Typically, audiences are filled with the performers' parents and friends, but if you're looking for a way to feel good about the world for not a lot of money, consider checking out your local schools this spring to see what's on the schedule.

As an indication about just how good Ft. Hayes' dance performance was, consider this. My 8-year-old son sat through 3 hours without wanting to go home.

We planned to stay for just the first half, but by intermission, both of us were ready for more. There was no way I was going to miss a single second.

Ft. Hayes is a Columbus City magnet school for the arts, by the way. Students from all over Columbus attend. This is not the only school with magnificient performances. Last year, the audience at Eastmoor Academy's production of "Dream Girls" gave the girl playing Effie a spontaneous standing ovation before she finished the last note of "And I'm Telling You, I'm not Going."

*The photo is from the Ben Evans Recreation Program Collection of the Seattle Municipal Archives

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