In defense of high school drama

No, I don’t mean the “omiGAWD!” type of high school drama. I mean talented kids singing and dancing and blowing your socks off the way Lewis & Clark High School Tiger Drama did a couple of weeks ago with their production of “Urinetown: The Musical.”

I know what you’re thinking. Poop jokes.

Apparently so was Mr. Wayne Lawson of Spokane, who wrote a letter to the editor suggesting this choice indicated a decline in the moral environment.

I'm a proud LC drama mom, and I only wish "Urinetown" had run more than one weekend so word of mouth could have spread. The place would have been packed night after night.

The play's story was powerful and thought-provoking, wrapped in entertainment. As another LC mom (disclosure: her son is dating Second Daughter) wrote in a response on the Spokesman-Review site:
“Urinetown: the Musical” is a social satire and recipient of multiple Tony awards. It satirizes the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, and municipal politics. It is a commentary on morality, on humanity, and on love. Furthermore, it has a strong environmental message.
Besides all the lessons in the story line, honestly, if you can get dozens of high school kids to stay hours after school, day after day, to rehearse, paint sets, and prepare, how can anyone complain?

People who lament "kids these days" should see firsthand the dedication, work ethic and commitment demonstrated by students in drama and every other after-school activity.

I think back to the hours of my life given to marching band (yes, I was a University High School Titan Band Jock) and track (not a standout) and how important the lessons were that I learned.
  • Show up on time.
  • Know your part.
  • People are counting on you.
  • If you miss a cue, keep going.
That’s what high school drama is teaching our kids. I think that’s a major contribution to the “moral environment” that so worries Mr. Lawson.

What can YOU do?

While you could (as I did) write a rebuttal to Mr. Lawson on the Spokesman website, you can do something far more meaningful.

The Lewis & Clark drama program has been selected as one of 50 high school programs from the entire US to go to the American High School Theater Festival. It’s part of the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland: the largest arts festival in the world.

Between now and the summer of 2011 the program needs to raise $70,000. I can’t direct you to a PayPal link to give online (yet), but I can ask you to write a check made out to LCHS Drama with a note “for Edinburgh” on the memo line and send it to Lewis & Clark High School c/o Greg Pschirrer, 521 W. 4th Ave., Spokane WA 99204. (If they end up not raising enough to go to Scotland the money will still benefit the drama program--great investment.)

If you want to participate in the fundraising committee, let me know in the comments here or text your email to me at 509.869.2949. Several of us have already told drama teacher Greg Pschirrer that we’re all over this and we need your help.

You can also follow them on Facebook and on YouTube.

Go Tiger Drama!


  1. Footnote: I got curious about Mr. Lawson and poked around a bit online. I found a post from him dated about a year ago in which he says he's the president of the Spokane American Family Association ( Their agenda items: "Decency in media. Sanctity of human life. Supporting traditional marriage. America's Christian heritage."

  2. Oy already! This guy's got nothing better to do than clean up arts and culture and force a sense of morality (as he defines it) on the rest of us.....he's bored and should take in more theatre =). Might broaden his horizons?


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