In the theatre competition, actors and crew operate under time constraints, as well as the requirement that the play be portable--and they get feedback from judges. They present at "districts," then at "regionals," and then--if they are lucky--to "states."
One year the requirement is to pick a comedy, and the next year the requirement is to pick a serious play. Directors can choose a musical or a straight play; a play that was written as a one-act, or cut a play down.
This year, at least four local schools are participating, and in fact, a regional competition is occurring at Skyline and a state competition is occurring at
This coming weekend (February 3d and 4th, 2012), both Skyline and Pioneer high schools are doing public performances. Both of them are on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m.
Pioneer High School is performing Spring Awakening, a play following the lives of ten teenagers as they move from adolescent to adult.
Skyline High School is performing Amadeus, about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri.
Chelsea High School and Milan High School are also performing.
Update 2/6/11: So is Lincoln High School. Lincoln High School is performing J. M. Barrie's Half an Hour.
You may recall that Milan High School had four students die over the last year, and at least a couple of the deaths were suicides. The play that they have chosen is called The Bright Blue Mailbox Suicide Note, and I understand--from someone who saw the play at districts--that the play opens with projections of news stories about the students who died. Intense? Yes. But also an important memorial to them. I've never seen the play but I think using the arts as a way to work through emotional issues is a terrific idea.
As for Chelsea--well, I'm still looking for the title of their play--and I will hope to update this.
As far as I can tell, neither Milan nor Chelsea has public performances, but I could be wrong about that.
If you get a chance to go to one of the public performances, they're short and you will probably find that the way the set and crew are integrated into the performance makes the experience more interesting. The theme for this year is "serious drama," and the topics are. They are appropriate for high school students, but these are probably not the right plays for your eight-year old.
Update 2/6/11: The current schedule for the regional event at Skyline High School has Skyline, Pioneer, and Lincoln performing there, but not Chelsea or Milan.
*theater or theatre, I can't decide which to use. Read more here.