I am a true supporter of Chatham’s Theatre Arts program. I was a costumer for plays at the Middle School and High School for over six years and have logged in hundreds, if not thousands, of hours. I would love to see our program be brought up to speed and to be comparable to other great programs in our area. I STRONGLY believe the way to do this is through programs and classes.
At Chatham Middle School the theatre arts program has changed from a mandatory class to an elective/cycle class, exposing a smaller number of kids to the benefits of arts education.
At Chatham High School we currently teach Theater Arts 1 (next year going from a full year to a half year) and Theater Arts 2 (half year course). Only 2.8 percent of our Chatham High School students take these drama classes (a number reported by our school to the DOE). Why are we proposing to build a PAC for a program that is being cut back and is terribly underdeveloped?
We need to support our educators in their efforts to generate interest in theater arts by offering classes and programs that appeal to students, address more areas of theater arts, both onstage and off stage, and get participation growing!
Once our current auditoriums are renovated they will be more than adequate to serve the needs of the school district. Building a PAC will do NOTHING to improve our program and will add permanent operating expenses. We need to use our money to support our teachers and build great programs.
Let’s properly fix and update the facilities we already have and improve our programs. That is what will benefit our students the most!
Chatham Borough Resident