Shelly Sinclair taught us the following in our very first theatre class in 1992: professionals write it down, amateurs remember. In 2019, I either built, produced, directed, or acted in 44 productions.
One of those productions featured Rico Parker, an 2002 Colonel White graduate and member of Actors' Equity Association. The production was one of the most successful of the Columbus theater season, according to both its critical and community response.
I ask every stage manager who works with me to keep extra pens and tablet chargers in case the actors need help with their notes.
Michael Mangan conducted the orchestra where I played third cello at Stivers. His first lesson to us: I recently agreed to be the spokesperson for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in a series of online videos to be aired weekly in the Columbus City elementary schools.
I could have achieved none of these things had I not received such a solid grounding at Stivers. My contemporaries and I received said grounding not just from the teachers listed above, but hundreds of others who’ve touched thousands of other students' lives, all through artistic education. We are intelligent, we are driven, we are expressive, and ultimately all most of us want to do is make a better world doing what we love to do.
Cutting those programs insults all of us. All the board has to do to correct the insult is reverse the decision and give Janelle the chance to bounce song and arrangement ideas off the teacher who inspired her to apply to Berklee in the first place.
Even if it’s via Zoom.
David Harewood is a freelance stagehand, director, and political/community organizer. He was born in Dayton, but now resides in Columbus.