Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nazareth Won't Bring Home the Freddy

The Express-Times’ Joe Owens has his annual post regarding the NASD HS Theatre Troupe’s failure to participate in the biggest theatre event in the Lehigh Valley, the State Theatre’s Freddy Awards (read it here), which of course prompts my annual post on the same.

If you haven’t seen the Freddy’s either live or on TV, the program is designed to celebrate HS theatre productions in an Award Show format at the State Theatre in Easton. All of the entered schools attend the event and many perform on stage some of the top numbers from their show. In addition to the students being recognized and getting to know one another through rehearsals and the show, there are awards for both productions and individuals, including scholarships.

To date, Nazareth has been the only school to steadfastly refuse to participate. Why is anyone’s guess, but the one certain fact is that our students are missing out by not attending and if there is relevance to HS theatre, as I believe there is, they are also making themselves and the community look bad by doing so.

Posted via email from Ross Nunamaker


Geophile said...

I completely understand and applaud the decision not to participate. The best part about being in a play, and I was part of a play company in high school, is the deep feeling of being part of something greater, and the closeness with the others in the group. The Freddy, on the other hand, makes it all into another competition, like sports.

The competitive paradigm is fine for sports, sort of fitting, but not every person and every pursuit is suited to that. Competition may drive excellence in sports, but it can kill creativity. The more creative kids need to be able to experiment and have fun, not be driven for the prize, IMHO.

Maybe they should have a competitive drama team that's separate and another more synergistic and creative group to include the less combative and aggressive creative types. Of course, you know which one wouldn't get funded in Nazareth--the one that isn't like sports.

NewsOverCoffee said...

I think the notion that the Freddy's is first and foremost about competition is the mistake that Nazareth is making.

The reason I feel bad for our students for not participating is that they lose out on the experience of the Freddy's and the benefits that come with it.

The Freddy's don't disrupt being a part of a closeknit group or something greater, it expands the experience.

When I watch the Freddy's I see students from different schools with a similar interest get to see one another perform, they gain an opportunity to present their work beyond their own community, and to develop friendships with students with the same interests from other schools.

I participated in competitive sports, but the competition isn't the reason I have friends to this day who were from other schools. It was the opportunity to come together at the practices and events where the friendships were made and grown.

This is what Nazareth's students lose by not participating. The prize and potential scholarship are secondary.

Geophile said...

Fair enough. We agree to disagree. :-