2012 South Bay Fall Season Preview

While the heat may still be on outside, the first days of school are upon us. Time to get back into classes, AP classes, carpools, marching band, pep rallies, homecoming, and of course, high school theatre! It is time to check in around the South Bay (and a little beyond) for some previews of what is coming up at a high school near you.

Pioneer High School - 1290 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose
Director Steve Dini is going to be a busy man this coming year by the looks of things. Pioneer will be mounting a touring production of Mary Poppins, and evening of David Ives one-acts, and a duo of musicals in The Fantasticks (winter) and Hello Dolly! (spring). Steve is also the man with the plan for Willow Glen High School (2001 Cottle Avenue, San Jose) for their spring musical Anything Goes! Some real heavy hitters for sure.

Valley Christian in Scotland
Valley Christian High School - 100 Skyway Drive, San Jose
From the mouth of Matt DeMeritt himself:

“As I mentioned, 21 of our students and three faculty members attended the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland from July31-August 13.  They performed an original, musical adaptation of Shakespeare's 12th Night, call Twelfth Night: Serenade.  Our performance was part of the American High School Theatre Festivals presence at the Fringe.  The AHSTF selects approximately 40 schools from around the country to represent the US at the Fringe.  We had an amazing time seeing world class theatre from around the globe and got to perform for some amazing audiences.  
Our Season this year is as follows:
Fall Musical – You'e a Good Man Charlie Brown – October 18-20, 25, 27
Winter Play – It's a Wonderful Life -  December 12-15
Spring Musical – Guys and Dolls – March 7-9, 14-16, 21-23
Student Directed Production – Experiments in Comedy and Tragedy – May 9-11
Summer Theatre Production – Disney's The Little Mermaid – July 10-13

It's a busy year, but we look forward to seeing you and you're team at our shows!  All the best!”

Congrats on a successful trip to Scotland!

Westmont's '12-'13 Drama Dept. Officers
Westmont High School - 4805 Westmont Avenue, Campbell
Jeff Bengford and his students really have a lot of hard work ahead of them (as usual) with a pack season of shows and events. There is their yearly Haunted House, a production of The Man Who Came To Dinner (Kaufman and Hart), several events with the California Educational Theatre Association, and a production of 9 to 5, The Musical. A full season of great stuff. Can’t wait to see it all when it hits the stage.

Lincoln's Walter Zarnowitz as the Beast.
Lincoln High School - 555 Dana Avenue San Jose
Over in the Rose Garden area of San Jose, Lincoln High School under the direction of Charles Manthe is taking on another ambitious season as the performing arts magnet of San Jose Unified. Their season includes Avenue Q, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon and Tartuffe. From puppets to Moliere is quite impressive indeed. Break legs to you all, and special kudos to your venerable theatre guild for all their help!

Saratoga's ComedySportz
Saratoga High School - 20300 Herriman Avenue, Saratoga
While the full season has not been announced, I see that ‘Toga will have a ComedySportz Improv team performing as part of their season, as well as several student productions. Great to see the students taking the lead on their own projects. Bravo!

TriSchool Productions - 451 West 20th Avenue San Mateo
For those who are not familiar, TriSchool is a cooperative company made up of Mercy, Norte Dame (Belmont) and Serra High Schools. Their season packs a punch, starting with the Commedia del Arte classic, A Servant of Two Masters and finishing up with The Drowsy Chaperone. They always do great work, and have the passion to make it even better than great.

M-A's Once Upon A Mattress
Menlo Atherton High School - 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton
Straight from the mouth of Ms. Z (D.J. Zwicker-Sobrepena):
"We are kicking off the school year with Shakespeare's The Tempest. I love all the themes: magic, love, revenge, forgivness. I am hosting a Shakespeare Bootcamp on campus to jumpstart the understanding of verse and how to physicalize Shakespeare in performance. We open the show on October 26. We will also have an Arts Cabaret Night on November 16 (and probably the 17th) in collaboration with the Choir and Guitar classe showcasing their musical talents and two duets, a one-act, and four monologues that we will be taking to the Bob Smart Theatre Festival in February 2013 (a.k.a. Lenaea High School Theatre Festival)."

Amen to connecting the show to curriculum. It is bizarre that I have seen many shows mounted by schools where they don't address the challenges of that particular show. Thankfully, there are still those that prep kids for Shakespeare instead of just jumping in, and teach kids tap before even getting into choreo for 42nd Street (thank you Steve Dini) and so on.

Presentation High School - 2281 Plummer Avenue, San Jose
Another busy year is coming up at the San Jose all-girls school with the ever-popular Legally Blonde in the fall, followed by Bertolt Brecht's Good Woman of Setzuan as the spring play. Ambitious as always, and Jim Houle and his staff do good stuff. Private school funding is hard to beat, but it is a real example of how far a school can go with good funding. Public schools/districts should take note.

Leigh High School
Bryan Ringstead and his students have a big year ahead of them with some challening plays, the district DramaFest, one-acts, and a few TBD's on the calendar. Here is the schedule directly from the director.

Haunted House "A Little Bit Grim"October 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30th from 7-9:30 pm
Fall Play "Bury the Dead" and "Actor's Nightmare"December 7, 8, 12, 14, 15 at 7 pm; 8 and 14 at 3 pm
Advanced Drama One Act ShowcaseJanuary 11th and 12th at 7:00 pm
CUHSD DramaFestJanuary 16th @ Prospect High School. 7 p.m.
Spring Musical TBDMarch 28th-April 6th
Musical Theater Class Show TBDMay 2, 3, 4 at 7 p.m.
Spring Showcase children's showsMay 16, 17 @ 7 p.m.
Senior Showcase Awards ShowMay 22 @ 7 pm.


Big seasons ahead for everyone! I can’t wait to see what else is revealed as schools come back from summer break. On that note, I hope it was a good one for all of you. Here is to a great 2012-2013 theatre season!
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