High school theatre programs tend to select musicals that employ many students, both on and offstage, as well as titles which contain little to no objectionable content, making it safe for all family members to attend. The community standards imposed by school districts limit the choices for theatre teachers. Students also tend to be attracted to the newer and recently released musicals, ones that just finished a national tour or their Broadway run. Finding a title that adheres to the various criteria of a high school can be demanding and frustrating. For my thesis, I mounted and produced Hello, Dolly! at Dr. Phillips High School in February of 2020. This is a musical that hasn't been produced at all in the school's 33-year history, nor has it been produced locally in the greater Central Florida area for some time. Due to the popularity from the recent 2017 revival and subsequent tour, there is a renewed interest in the piece among the theatre savvy students. The annual Spring musical at Dr. Phillips High School is a massive undertaking that utilizes most of the department on and backstage, as well as having a live student orchestra featuring students from the music department. Hello, Dolly! does not require a reinvention or reinterpretation; there is a reason it has stayed a favorite for the past 55 years without a rewriting or revision. For this reason, I stuck as closely as possible to the original production design and staging within the budget and capabilities of a high school Theatre Department. It is important to have the students experience the demands and beauty of a classic musical. I served as director and musical director for this production, and I also staged some of the lesser choreographic songs. This allowed me to approach the production from various angles, all through the same conceptual lens.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Whitehead, Jason, "Dolly'll Never Go Away Again: Producing the Classic Musical at the High School Level" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 150.