Teaching Drama

Another School Play Cancellation – But Not for Censorship

Chatsworth High School in California has had to cancel their fall production of Quilters due to budget cuts.

Walt McDowell has taught drama for 21 years, 15 of those at Chatsworth High. He’s weathered budget troubles before.

But when he couldn’t afford to pay the custodian to lock up the campus after weekend rehearsals last fall, he knew it was time to throw in the towel on the show. His annual budget — which includes putting on a spring play, a variety show and transporting students to two drama competitions — is only $600.

Times are tough. We’re in a recession. Budgets are being slashed everywhere. But what’s most shocking is that (according to the article) there’s plenty of money for the sports teams.

“We get one bus a year, to take the kids to competition,” said Sandy Wood, a parent who doubles as choreographer. “The sports teams get buses every week.”

Why the double-standard? Why do the sports teams always get the priority when it comes to funding? Why is the drama department always last in line for everything? It’s an age-old question; certainly a question that came up time and time again when I was in high school.

About the author

Craig Mason