After recently attending a professional musical production in Sacramento, the point came home to me that our local high school theater programs are really very good. Maybe even better than some professional productions.
And what a bargain. Compared to a professional “cheap seat” price of $35, once can attend a high school theater play or musical for an average price of $10 to $15 for adults, $5 to $10 for children. Order tickets in advance, because they frequently sell out.
The amazing thing about high school theater is the variety of talent. Many of these young people participate in acting programs throughout the region, such as El Dorado Musical Theatre (EDMT), as well as programs offered by local theaters, such as the Sutter Street Theatre in Folsom. There are a number of plays coming up that are worth attending.
This is definitely not high school theater I knew as a student. The acting, sound systems, lighting, costuming and other theatrical values are at professional level, thanks to a region of caring and dedicated parent volunteers who have invested heavily in these programs.
Jesuit High School
“Cats” the Broadway musical, is Jesuit High School’s spring offering. Students from a number of high schools are in this production, including students from Jesuit, Christian Brothers, St. Francis, El Camino and Rio Americano. The Maurauders opened their production last week. However, there are two more weeks of performances on March 10, 11 and 12 and March 17 through March 20. Tickets are $10 for students. General admission is $15. For more information, call (916) 482-6060 or visit the box office the evening of the performance.
St. Francis High School
“A Piece of My Heart” by Shirley Lauro opens at St. Francis High School on March 25. The play is based on the true story of six women who went to Vietnam – five nurses and one country western singer booked by an unscrupulous agent to entertain the troops. It is a tale of each woman’s journey that begins in Vietnam and ends at The Wall in Washington, D.C. Due to mature subject matter, it is recommended for ages 13 and up. Performances are March 25, 26, 31 and April 1-2. Visit ticketguys.com/stfrancishighschool for tickets.
C.K. McClatchy High School
“Grease” is the word at McClatchy. Presented by the Lion’s Pride Players, this fun musical will be performed in the school’s auditorium. McClatchy High School has beautiful architectural detail, and the facility is much older than the others listed here. Opening night is March 30. Additional performances are April 1-2, April 4, April 6-8 and April 9. Tickets can be purchased at the door. All admissions are $2 on March 30, April 4 and April 6. All other shows, student and senior tickets are $5, adult tickets are $10. Visit mcclatchyhs.net.
The performance of “Grease” at McClatchy could be the last theater production at that high school for a while. The Sacramento Unified School District is seriously considering eliminating all arts and sports programs in its schools, due to serious budget constraints and declining enrollment. This situation is not unique to SCUSD … every school district throughout the state is facing tough challenges.
So, enjoy high school theater while you can. It’s well worth it. Let’s hope it’s not an endangered species.
Submit your arts or entertainment event for consideration in Susan’s column by emailing her at [email protected]