Equally support Theatre/Performing Arts vs. Sports
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Theatre is dismally underfunded and under supported in comparison to sports in Pittsburgh Public Schools and many schools across the country. Often times teachers and parents are struggling to get by to provide these experiences for the students. At many schools there are more students involved in a Theatre production than there are on many of the sports teams. However the school district funds sports programs with many more resources. It often feels very unfair.
Currently, Pittsburgh Public Schools not provide for High Schools to have both a musical & a play. Most schools have to choose between having one or the other. There are no official hours provided for many of the positions such as Choreographer, Music Direction, Technical Direction or Designers.
There no funding for staff or production costs at the Middle School and Elementary level for a musical or play.
Schools can choose to use some of their site based money to support a production but many do not have any or much to spare. They may be able to give a little, but its not enough to pay for staff and production costs.
Currently, a staff member taking tickets at a football game makes the same amount per hour as a staff member who knows how to direct or build complicated scenery.
Production Cost: No money is provided to help the production costs of putting on a show. Sometimes the school will help pay for the licensing cost, but it varies and there is not language that says they must. Most schools have to do intensive fund raising. Since PPS is made up of almost entirely TITLE 1 schools that is a challenge for many of our schools and students.
Many of the schools have inadequate facilities. Many have outdated or broken equipment that has not been repaired or replaced. Schools have to rent or do without if possible. Lack of facilities is yet another obstacle to overcome.
We are asking that PPS provide funding to fill in the gaps where facilities are not adequate by paying for rental fees when needed.
The overarching theme is calling the District out on supporting its Theatre Arts programs in all its schools!! So students can be provided with meaningful experiences and training.
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