Drama program does not host spring musical

Anna Ebert, Writer

Fenton’s financial problems have been evident with students using English textbooks from the 1990s and block scheduling being cut. Although the drama department does not receive money from the district, they are also feeling the effects of the budget issue as they are not able to put on a spring musical this year.

“Definitely money and budget is the issue,” drama teacher Lori Thompson said. “To do a musical it is anywhere from $1700 to $2000 to get the rights to it. Usually that is not a problem, but when it comes to pay Mr. Wright, Mr. Perkins, and myself it comes from our theatre account. On top of the theatre account, retirement funds become more expensive which makes putting on show even more unreasonable.

The longer a teacher has been teaching, the more they get paid which makes the cost of the musical even higher. Senior Arlo Simmerman was in previous musicals, and despite budget issues, hoped for a spring musical.

“Initially we were planning on having a musical, but because of contract problems and rescheduling of the ‘The Laramie Project,’ we couldn’t have one,” Simmerman said. “I knew that the chances were low, but I really enjoy musical theatre so I was sad when we couldn’t have it.“

The arts department is trying to find new ways to have a spring musical, such as combining it with the children’s show or making enough money to put on the show.

“A thought is, that we might take the children’s show that we do in the fall and combine that with a musical,” Thompson said. “We might be doing a musical that is fit for children as well as for adults. It can meet the needs of both the children’s story slot and the musical slot.”

The arts department worries about money being an issue and hopes to put on a musical next year after not having one for two years in a row.