Students lobby for a Performing Arts assembly – and win


While SCHS hosted its annual Art Show last week, displaying students’ creative accomplishments, this year for the first time, the Performing Arts Department also showcased its talent in an assembly featuring various monologues, spoken words and scenes from plays.

The 45-minute assembly played from periods two to six last Tuesday, but it took nearly two weeks of persuading and negotiating to get it approved by administration, according to senior Katie Patterson.

The idea of having an assembly for appreciating theatrical art was sparked by senior Mariam Aiyed when the En Soiree, a talent show, got canceled due to scheduling problems. The assembly was set up by Patterson and senior Antonella Doblanovic. Seniors Lali Pizarro and Tiffany Austin also helped organize the assembly.

“This assembly was really important for the Performing Arts Department to have because the [theatrical] arts are so neglected and underappreciated,” Patterson said.

Shelby liked the idea when it was first proposed to him, but as a proponent of academics and education, he was less willing to take away classroom time from teachers, according to Pizarro.

“The things we look at when determining whether or not to approve an event are safety, organization, the benefits to the students, and the impact it has on their education,” Shelby said.

Since the idea for the assembly came up only two weeks ago, Shelby wasn’t sure if the students were prepared to perform. To show him that they were, the theater students invited him during lunch to watch a few of the acts.

But the small preview wasn’t enough for Shelby to change his mind.

Unwilling to give up, Patterson, Doblanovic and Austin went around campus for three days, asking teachers and students if they would support the Performing Arts Department in putting on the assembly. Austin recorded and cumulated their responses into a video to show Shelby.

“We wanted to persuade Mr. Shelby that teachers and students cared about the arts,” Austin said.

After all of their hard work, the assembly was finally approved — four days from the scheduled date — with the compromise that only performing and visual art classes were officially invited to watch it.

“Even with the rough patches, I think this assembly was a success because it felt good to get recognition and have a crowd that was excited about the arts, even if it was just one day. I hope the assembly will become a tradition at SCHS,” Pizarro said.