The theatre department at Wakefield High School has had a successful long-standing relationship with Signature Theatre in Arlington. The partnership was initiated by former theatre arts instructor, Judy T. Klevins, and continues to this day. Plans are already being made for the next school year. We are so privileged to have a professional from Signature Theatre write an original piece for our students each year. We are even more privileged that this playwright is Norman Allen. Norman along with Marcia Gardner audition the students from Wakefield and rehearse them at the theatre.
This partnership truly bolsters our department in many ways. Each year the theatre students look forward to working on stage as actors or off stage running the production. I can not begin to tell you the effect both Norman and Marcia have on my students. They come away from the experience with a seriousness and a drive for their craft. This newfound approach to play production spills over into our own program after school. The kids strive to do their best at putting together a professional show.
Even the technicians benefit from our partnership. Last year Signature began sending professionals with expertise from each area of technical theater to the classes at Wakefield. The students get to ask questions and work with the guest speakers focusing on a particular production that the students are working on at school. For the next school year, Signature Theatre’s Eric Grimms is preparing to develop workshops with the students at Signature Theatre. His plans are to involve students interested in lighting, set construction and costuming.