MONTPELIER, Vt. (PRWEB) October 10, 2006
For the free spirited young enjoying their summer, “…summer’s lease hath all too short a date”, the fall performance seasons are looming large. School arts programs have suffered another round of budget cuts as the President eliminates funding for the Department of Education’s Arts in Education programs for the sixth consecutive year. A Center on Education Policy report in February 2006 stated that nearly one-quarter of the school districts surveyed reduced art and music time last year to make time for math and reading.
Clearly, it will be a shoestring performance season for young thespians this school year, with less time than ever to be creative and raise needed funds. From high-profile “save the music” efforts to grass roots fundraisers, only dogged determination and individual support will keep arts in schools. One small company in Vermont has found a creative way to contribute to the cause by providing middle and high schoolers with a solution.
Big Whoop About Zip, a 21st century adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, and Midsummer City, a contemporary take on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream are now available to any middle or high school drama group interested in performing the play.
Cabot Creamery commissioned the scriptwriters, created the promotional materials and ticket art, and developed media tips on promoting the productions, both free and available via the Internet. In exchange, the school simply credits the play's presentation to the dairy farmers who own Cabot Creamery, and run a Cabot ad in the play’s program.
“Both performances are fantastic fundraisers, and work for any school regardless of budget,” said Big Whoop and Midsummer City coach Marie Frohlich. “We tested all the elements at Williamstown High School in Vermont - a small, public school that does not have a drama class or even a stage. The kids and faculty put on the entire production for under $500 and it was outstanding.”
Commissioned by the dairy farmers who own Cabot Creamery, both plays were written by Roberta Harold of Montpelier, Vermont, a writer, consultant and Shakespeare aficionado active in community theater in Vermont. She is a 1999 graduate of the Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College, where she studied playwriting, fiction and poetry, as well as Shakespeare and modern drama. The play features current issues, characters and themes, including hip hop, drug prevention, soccer, and even President Bush.
“Everyone at Cabot is committed to supporting community activities, particularly for families and teens,” said Richard Stammer, President of Cabot Cheese. “Through technology, Cabot is able to make this resource available to all the communities that sell our farmers' products.”
Both plays are now available on Cabot's website at http://www.cabotcheese.com. Schools, drama clubs, teachers, and actors should review the site before contacting Coach Frohlich at 802-433-6102 with additional questions.