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ShieldBreaking News

"It Can't Happen Here" Closes

ICHH Poster SmallOn Sunday, November 19th, the Paladin Players closed one of it's most thought provoking productions in recent memory, an adaptation of Sinclair Lewis's 1935 novel "It Can't Happen Here". In writing the novel, the author spoke to the nationalistic fever that propelled fascist leaders like Mussolini and Hitler into power. The Paladin Players production was not without controversy as reported in a November 17th article published by the Sun Sentinel. Sadly, none of those who objected actually came out to see the play or even call the director to discuss their concerns.

We, the South Plantation High School Friends of the Theater, are very proud of this group of student thespians and techs, who, in response to the brouhaha, formulated and released a written rebuttal to those who objected to the subject matter of the production. We'd like to share their response with you.

"Hey everyone, I'm sure you've all heard that our production of "It Can't Happen Here" is opening this Thursday at South Plantation High School! I just want to take a second to express my thoughts on the show and our drama program. I am so proud to be a part of a program where the director is willing to put educational merit before entertainment value. It would've been easy to pick a show to simply entertain the audience, but instead he gave us a chance, as young adults who will soon be responsible for the world in which we live, to ask questions in an attempt to understand it. As a class, we've had discussions about history, economics, and overall just today's world. Although a lot of our feelings of anxiousness seem new to us, we discovered that it's actually just history repeating itself. Our grandparents and great grandparents experienced the same events we are experiencing today. Even though our director is being criticized by many community members for choosing material that they claim is controversial, which is unjust because they don't know the content of this show, we are proud of the work we've done and to be part of a program that is not afraid to take a risk. This piece of theater is relevant to everyone, regardless of political affiliation. I invite you to come watch our show and experience first hand the discoveries we've made not only as actors and techies, but as people."

ICHH Prod Pic 01

Throughout history, the theater arts have been used not just to entertain but to challenge. We, the Friends of the Theater, stand behind Director Zembuch and his choice to produce "It Can't Happen Here". He has always sought to expose his students to a wide variety of theatrical styles. A review of the past productions reveals a wide range of styles, from musical theater (West Side Story), to Shakespeare (A Comedy of Errors), to classic Greek tragedy (Oedipus Rex) and current Broadway favorites (Shrek, The Musical). And yes, even political absurdity (Rhinoceros). And that is just scratching the surface. In producing this show, he continued that history.

Congratulations to the staff, cast and crew of "It Can't Happen Here". Despite set backs (Hurricane Irma, illness and controversy), you all did a fantastic job and we are very proud of you.

Garage Sale Raises $2000.00!!

Garage Sale Group PicIt is always so encouraging to us when the community comes together to support the students that make up our award winning theater program. And we are feeling VERY encouraged. Why? Well, let me explain. Drama mama Colleen Ramer spearheaded a garage sale fundraiser and YOU responded generously by donating used but serviceable items to the cause, so much so the donations filled her house and garage! That's how awesome you all are!! The students spent the week organizing and pricing items and yesterday, at 8am, the sale began. By the end of the day we raised $2000.00!!! Yes, TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS!! That's money that goes right to the program and to the FOTT scholarships that we award every year to qualified graduating seniors. We are elated over the success of this fundraiser and we want to thank everyone who donated items for it. Without you, OUR COMMUNITY, this could not be done. Thank you, thank you, thank you for our unending support of this great program. You are making a difference in the lives of these kids.

FOTT Awards $4,000 In Scholarships

One of the things the Friends of the Theater is most proud of is our scholarship program. Every year we give away four individual scholarships of $1,000 each to graduating seniors who participated in the theater program during their time at South Plantation High School. Winners are selected by an independent review committee that awards points based on GPA, degree of participation in the program and an essay they submit.

This year it is our pleasure to announce the following winners of our annual scholarships:

  • Samantha Kautzmann
  • Adam Ortiz
  • Kelly Walsh
  • Jenna White

Congratulations to our four winners. We wish you all the best as you begin your new adventures in college!

Scholarship Award Winners

Director Jason Zembuch Nominated for 2017 Excellence in Education Tony Award

On Wednesday, April 8th, we screened an extended version of the video we submitted as part of the nomination process for the 2017 Excellence in Education Tony Award. As it was intended to be a surprise for Mr. Zembuch, we used a ruse, calling it the "Inclusion Video". The ruse worked. Mr. Zembuch was very surprised.

The original, submitted version was limited to 3 minutes. This is the extended version we made for the screening for Mr. Zembuch. Sometime during this month the Tony Awards will announce their winner. But whether he is recoginzed or not, to us Mr. Zembuch reflects excellence in education every day. He is a winner our book.

Thank you to everyone who helped us keep this secret and who joined us last night for the screening. Let's all keep our fingers crossed!

#APPLAUDMYTEACHER

Excellence In Education Group Picture

Excellence In Education Group Shot 2

FREE PARKING AT THE PALADIN PLAYHOUSE...ALWAYS!!!

It's very important that we make this clear as it has come to our attention that, despite Director Jason Zembuch's request to football parent volunteers that they specifically ask whether a guest is visiting the school for the football game or one of our productions (currently The Crucible) so as to determine if they should collect a parking fee, these volunteers have not be doing that and in fact, one particular football parent volunteer told Director Zembuch that she was NOT going to do that because they need to raise $7k for uniforms!

This parent clearly had no consideration of the fact that our production of The Crucible costs money to produce too. In fact, we are in the hole nearly $8,000...money we make back through ticket sales, playbill advertising, concessions and our own fundraisers. What we do not do is charge for parking and we do not expect our theater patrons to pay for parking to support the football program.

So please be aware....if you are attending a show and it happens to coincide with a football game, make sure you tell any football parent volunteer that asks you for a parking fee that you are there for a Paladin Playhouse theater production and that the Paladin Playhouse never charges a parking fee.

Now Accepting Donations!

So you can't make evey show or fundraiser. We understand. Your life is busy. But you can still help and we have just made it easier to do that!! We have set up a way to donate to the South Plantation High School theater program! Please consider making a donation to the program. We receive ZERO dollars from the Broward School District. We have to raise all the money needed to produce our shows. That's why we need your help. So, if you can, please make a small donation. Our program changes lives.

Keep Calm and Learn Sign LanguageTheater For The Deaf Style at South Plantation High School

You may not be aware but South Plantation High School is recognized as the only cluster school in the Broward School District for the deaf and hard of hearing. Because of this unique status, theater program director Jason Zembuch chooses to direct all productions in a style known as "Theater For The Deaf" with all mainstage productions being performed in both voice and sign language. Come to a show and experience a "Theater For The Deaf" production for yourself and discover the beauty of a performance in both voice and sign language!

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