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Is High School Theater Important? Local Student Critics Explain Why

Is theater important for students today? Was it important for you? Should it be stressed in high school? More than 120 students around the region learned about how to do theater criticism for the 29 shows they'll review this school year.

Everyone's a critic? Well, for 120 students from high schools throughout St. Louis and St. Charles counties, they're not officially critics until they've gotten their training from The Cappies, the national student theater critics program.

Students from 15 area high schools converged on over the weekend for a morning of training in how to write reviews, the rules of The Cappies program and tips on theater etiquette.

Patch tagged along to find out why some of the aspiring scribes think theater is important in their lives, their schools and the world. Check the photo captions to see what students from around the region answered. Do you agree? Offer your replies in the comments below. Was theater important to you in school? Is it now? Why? Is it important for students to learn?

This school year is the eighth year for The Cappies program in the St. Louis area. Students from high school theater and journalism programs will review 29 high school theater productions during the 2011-12 school year. The theater season ends May 19 with a Tony Awards-style gala, in which students are awarded acting, music and technical awards.

Participating schools are: Bishop DuBourg, Clayton, Francis Howell, Francis Howell North, Holt, Maplewood Richmond Heights, Marquette, Mary Institute St. Louis Country Day School, McCluer, Nerinx Hall, Northwest, Notre Dame, Parkway Central, Pattonville and Rockwood Summit.

Dates and times for show The Cappies will review (note all times are p.m.; show dates do not indicate the full run of the performances):

Date Time School Show Oct. 15 7:00 Arsenic and Old Lace Oct. 22 7:30 Bishop DuBourg High School The Haunting of Hill House Oct. 28 7:00 Chateau La Roach Nov. 4 7:00 A Raisin in the Sun Nov. 4 7:00 12 Angry Jurors Nov. 6 2:00 Taming of the Shrew Nov. 10 7:00 Twelve Angry Jurors Nov. 10 7:30 Don't Drink The Water Nov. 11 7:00 Francis Howell High School Distracted Nov. 11 7:30 Notre Dame High School The Crucible Nov. 18 7:00 FOOTLOOSE Nov. 18 7:00 GREASE Nov. 19 7:30   PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Nov. 26 8:00 Picasso at Lapin Agile Jan. 19 7:00 Footloose Feb. 10 7:00 Francis Howell High School Return to the Forbidden Planet Feb. 17 7:30 PRIDE and PREJUDICE Feb. 18 7:00 The Music Man March 2 7:00 Steel Magnolias March 3 7:00 Dreamgirls March 8 7:30 The Diary of Anne Frank March 9 7:00 You Can't Take It With You March 9 7:00 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying March 10 8:00 The Drowsy Chaperone March 30 7:30 Notre Dame High School Thoroughly Modern Millie April 14 7:00 The Diviners April 19 7:00 Death of a Salesman Fri, Apr 20 7:30 Bishop DuBourg High School Godspell Thu, Jan 1 12:00 TBA
Karol Plawsky October 04, 2011 at 02:10 PM
I wish all schools put more emphasis (and money) on their theatre programs. I think we have become a society that is too centered on sporting events and winning rather than on education and learning.

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