Open Forum

North Penn High School Theatre: Educational Theatre in the Spotlight

  • 1.  North Penn High School Theatre: Educational Theatre in the Spotlight

    Posted 13 days ago
    Greetings to you all,

    I am the North Penn High School (NPHS) Theatre teacher, producer/director of our produtions, and Thespian Troupe 5464 Diretor. Our district  is located NW of Philadelphia and SE of Allentown and is considered a suburban/bordering on rural district. NPHS is currently a 10-12 grade school with approximately 3200 students (or roughly 1000 students per graduating class). This year, our theatre curricular and extra-curricular programs are celebrating 50 years. However, we are at a crossroads. A perfect alignment of changes are begging for us to evalute classes, spaces, and staff to set-up the program for the another 50 years and beyond, including:
    • my retirement in the next 2-3 years.
    • the retirement of most if not all, of the current Theatre production staff by spring of 2022 or with my retirement. (The Costume Designer, Technical Director, and House Manager all retired last month, to begin the trend.)
    • the high school will begin a renovation and building project next year, including relocating the 9th grade class to a new 9th Grade Center on the high school campus. Focus groups of stake holders are currently being organized to imagine what our spaces need for 21st Century Learning.
    • the physical changes to our campus will also necessitate curricular and extra curricular re-evaluations to reflect the addition of 1000 students to the campus, as well as the commitment to 21st Century learning with emphasis on STEM (hopefully changing to STEAM) and career readiness. 
    • a proposal establishing an endowment fund with the assistance of the Educational Theatre Foundation in conjunction with the 50th anniversary celebration.
    The timing is perfect to review and renew our theatre curriculum, including Career and Technical Education; explore curricular and extracurricular staffing; and assess the physical needs for classroom(s), performance and storage spaces.

    To this end, I have been tasked by the high school principal to gather information from and about other theatre curricular and extra curricular programs around the country. This information will be compared to our existing program and help us gather allies to move forward with our vision.

    EdTA has graciously given me the "OK" to share a google survey with you. I will be sharing the data from it with EdTA, too.

    I hope you will be willing to take about 15 minutes to complete the attached survey:  Educational Theatre in the Spotlight

    If you would like to know more about our current program, please go to www.npenn.org/theatre.

    If you would like to "chat" or have questions, please contact me at roneya@npenn.org.

    I welcome any additional comments or ideas. If you have recently completed a similar review of your curricular and/or extra curricular program and staffing or participated in a renovation/building process, I would appreciate discussing your experience(s).

    Thank you for your assistance as we imagine the theatre opportunities for our students and continue to provide the positive impact of theatre for our students and in our community.

    Be well; stay well. Blessings as we all enter another year that will challenge our creativity, resources, and energy. I know you all will continue to do amazing work with your students.

    Andrea Lee Roney

    North Penn High School Theatre Teacher, Producer, Director
    North Penn High Theatre Thespian Troupe 5464 Director
    1340 S. Valley Forge Road, Lansdale, PA   19446
    P: 215.853.1294
    E: roneya@npenn.org
    www.npenn.org/theatre
    Pennsylvania Thespian Chapter Governing Board
    http://www.pathespians.org/
    Educational Theatre Association Advocacy Leadership Network PA Representative
    Pennsylvania Arts Education Leadership Coalition Member



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    Andrea Lee Roney
    Theatre Teacher/Director
    roneya@npenn.org
    North Penn High School
    Hatfield PA
    roneya@npenn.org
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