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9 to 5 At a High School

gleek4114 Profile Photo
gleek4114
Broadway Legend
joined:5/24/13
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/1/13 at 08:08pm
My school's director has been deeply considering this for our spring musical. We both love the show and the story but the one big thing that might be seen as inappropriate is the scene where the three WOMEN W-O-M-Y-N get stoned. Obviously this is played for laughs but drugs are still a touchy subject for some people today. I was curious to any thoughts you guys might have. Or if any of you have seen/participated in a High School production of this show. Keep in mind our High School is located in Crestwood Kentucky.

Sorry slipped right by me.
Updated On: 10/1/13 at 08:08 PM
TheatreDiva90016 Profile Photo
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/1/13 at 08:21pm
If the scene with the joint is all you are concerned about, you must be going to one hell of a liberal school.

I would think most of the show is inappropriate for high school.
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post. <<>> -whatever2
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/1/13 at 08:24pm
Diva, I have heard that same sentiment from many school educators and directors and I'm always baffled by it. Am I missing something? What else is inappropriate? Asking sincerely, as I saw the show on Broadway but cannot recall...
Matt Rogers Profile Photo
Matt Rogers
Broadway Star
joined:10/4/04
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/1/13 at 08:34pm
The original poster calls the characters "girls", which means he or she doesn't even understand the theme of this show. The Lily Tomlin character (from the movie) even says " I'm not one of your girls!" to the chauvinist boss. These are WOMEN. Anyway, if you do it, make sure you post illegal videos on YouTube so Lizasheafband can watch it.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/1/13 at 09:11pm
...Or just make sure the clips do not exceed a total of 30 seconds and for promotional use only, as that is permitted by most - if not all - major dramatic licensing agencies.
dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/1/13 at 09:16pm
I never saw it, but I remember getting the cd for the very reason of considering for HS. I didn't get very far listening to rule it out. (I seems to remember pretty blatant sexual situations (which usually gets families more riled up than drugs, IMHO. I think it was one of Hart's early songs.) I don't know which was more of the reason I stopped considering it (inappropriateness or my intense dislike of the material -- but I have a lot of leeway with our productions.)

I would think there'd be a lot of complaints over this.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
gleek4114 Profile Photo
gleek4114
Broadway Legend
joined:5/24/13
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/1/13 at 09:25pm
I know there is some sex stuff but I think words for some scenes could be cut out or edited but you can't really cut that scene because it inspires 3 musical numbers. Our school has never really had a problem with sexual jokes/humor. Last spring we did Little Shop of Horrors which has it's fair share of sexual jokes and language and everyone enjoyed that. We ere thinking of maybe changing it from pot to alcohol. This would most likely be permitted but I feel like it would not be as funny.
TheatreDiva90016 Profile Photo
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/1/13 at 10:48pm
It's about sexual harassment in the workplace and has several strongly suggestive scenes and some very strong dialogue coming from Mr. Hart.

The plot is about adults working all day, something school kids know nothing about.

Please don't compare this to Little Shop, which is written in a completely different style.

And switching the pot to booze doesn't make it funny. It would make it sad. There's nothing funny about a drunk as we all know when we re-watch Arthur.
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post. <<>> -whatever2
broadwaybabytn Profile Photo
broadwaybabytn
Broadway Star
joined:12/30/10
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/1/13 at 10:58pm
My high school in Nashville, Tennessee did the show last year. From what I have heard, there were no cuts to the script, however it is a fairly liberal school.
trentsketch Profile Photo
trentsketch
Broadway Legend
joined:6/25/09
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/2/13 at 11:13am
The right school could get away from it. One school in the area can do stuff like Tommy and Bat Boy and nobody bats an eye. One of the schools I worked for did All Shook Up and we had church groups demanding refunds for putting on a play that obscene. The principal also said he would never allow even the HS version of Rent to be performed; he put a lot of roadblocks in the way of the students trying to form a GSA group so you can guess what his actual objections are to the show. You never know what the town or school is like unless you experience it first hand.
winston89 Profile Photo
winston89
Broadway Legend
joined:6/18/06
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/2/13 at 01:58pm
^^^^^

I agree. I feel that there aught not to be a blanket rule on what a high school should or shouldn't do when it comes to shows. What could work for a high school in a fairly liberal community someplace in the suburbs of NYC might not work for a more conservative town in the south.

On a totally different note, whenever I stumble across threads like this, ones that talk about if a particular show is appropriate for a high school to do, I feel that there is always one poster who says that the school in question shouldn't do whatever show is in question because they are kids and don't have the real life experience. In this case, someone said of 9 to 5 that high schoolers do not know what it is like to go to work every day and therefor shouldn't do the show. But, isn't it why it's called acting? I find it odd that someone would think that someone needs to experience verbatim that which the characters experience in order to do the show. That's why it's called acting.
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
ggersten
Broadway Legend
joined:5/11/06
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/2/13 at 02:47pm
Yes, it is called "acting" and you do not need the exact real world experience. But, you have to have some experience or understanding of the character's situation to convey it. If you've never been in love, then it is difficult to show that emotion on stage. If you've never experienced a true loss (death, heartbreak, abandonment), it is difficult to show that on stage. Now, I think a high school actor might be able to convey 9to5 because the director would explain that going to school is a job - and you "work" with other people - and there is harassment going on daily. So, it is possible to relate.
nasty_khakis
Broadway Legend
joined:3/15/07
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/2/13 at 04:38pm
Yeah, my high school couldn't do Bye Bye Birdie because no one had ever been a songwriter, singing idol, or a clinging mother in a fur coat. We can only all play teenagers, apparently.
TheatreDiva90016 Profile Photo
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/2/13 at 09:44pm
When I was in high school, I begged to direct a show at my local community theatre and was told that I needed more life experience.

At the time I was totally offended, but now that I'm older, I know what they said was correct.

There are so many great shows out there to do that would be more appropriate. I just don't think kids should be doing shows about sexual harassment in the work place, since they shouldn't be having sex at their age, any way.
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post. <<>> -whatever2
Dollypop Profile Photo
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/2/13 at 10:02pm
One of the schools I sub in did the show last Spring. I didn't see it because I'd endured a summer stock production of it and HATED the show so much I wasn't about to sit through it again. From the chatter in the faculty room, there was no outrage over the show. The school did SWEET CHARITY the previous year without any reprecussions.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
winston89 Profile Photo
winston89
Broadway Legend
joined:6/18/06
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/2/13 at 10:58pm
I guess with regards to the whole life experience thing, I feel that I disagree with it simply because that's not what I learned when taking acting classes at college. Most of what I was taught was based on Stanislavski's "the magic if" theory. And, that is something that I feel is useful and true, and with that life experience doesn't come into play.

Looking at the world of film for example. We all know that Tom Hanks never fought in the invasion of Normandy, but that didn't prevent him from giving an amazing performance in Saving Private Ryan. Likewise in theatre, someone may never have felt the need for revenge in their lives or have never felt the urge to kill anyone, but that doesn't mean that they can't use the magic if as well and give on hell of a performance as Sweeney Todd.
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
jemjeb2
Featured Actor
joined:6/28/05
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/5/13 at 05:38pm
Guess I'm becoming more conservative in some ways, but there are so many appropriate shows for high schoolers to do, why choose ANY show that is questionable. The audiences for the most part are there to see the cast (family, classmates) and not to have a sophisticated Broadway experience. And since the audience is made up of a group that changes at least every few years as the kids graduate, a standard list could easily be repeated every few years. The Rogers and Hammerstein musicals, Birdie, The Boy Friend, Guys and Dolls, etc etc never fail to please ( I know lots of yawns out there) . If that is tedious for the director, he/she needs to put the students above his urge to do something new or jeez- controversial. This is supposed to be a great theatrical experience for the kids isn't that who it is really for? -These are probably introductions to shows they've never seen.
dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/5/13 at 06:50pm
Every community has different standards, and you can NEVER know what people will be offended by and complain about:
Guys and Dolls - Gambling, Mocking of religion
Pajama Game - Drinking, Sexual Harrassment
Birdie - Not listening to parents
Legally Blonde - to many sexual references

Basically, you will never make everyone happy.

I try to balance the four years my students will be with me with a nice combination of: classics, new material, edgy material and less known stuff. THAT'S an education. I know my community, and know how far I can push things (when I do). Our job isn't to create 'famly' entertainment; it's to educate. It's not to provide a "nice" time, it's to educate. The students will not learn much by doing the same type of shows over and over. And there is plenty for them to learn from.

We don't produce the shows for the audience (from an educational point of view) but for the students working on it.

(And I would not do 9 to 5 at my high school, btw.)


If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/5/13 at 07:22pm
Isn't going to school 5 days a week for 8 hours a lot like working a regular 9 to 5? I don't see why high school kids couldn't possibly fathom what it's like to have a job.

Having said that, it sounds like the show would not be appropriate for this particular high school.
Wilmingtom
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/11
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/6/13 at 12:29pm
For every school where the kids (and community) are sophisticated enough to enure SPRING AWAKENING or RENT or SWEENEY or HAIR, there are 10 schools that can't do ONCE UPON A MATTRESS because of Larkin's pregnancy. There was a school board that shut down a production of BABES IN ARMS because they found a teenage girl singing "The Lady Is a Tramp" inappropriate. 9 to 5 is really benign. Think of the number of movies teens attend that have pot smoking. Virtually everything Judd Apatow makes and a major part of his demographic is high school boys. But all it takes in most cases to influence play selection is one parent making a stink.

Updated On: 10/6/13 at 12:29 PM
dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/6/13 at 12:41pm
There is also a difference between your teen WATCHING material and them PERFORMING it.

Funny thing: no one complains about the violence in Shakespeare. Ever.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Wilmingtom
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/11
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/6/13 at 01:14pm
dramamama, point well-taken re: watching and performing. And no one seems to complain about the violence in anything. Chino shooting Tony dead is fine, but Tony and Maria in bed together? Not so much.
jemjeb2
Featured Actor
joined:6/28/05
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/6/13 at 01:45pm
Dramamamma - no one used the word "nice" or "family entertainment" which apparently you find condescending or noneducational. I guess your shows then are not "nice" (whatever that means) or family entertainment, even though your audience is probably almost entirely family and classmates. Your job, you say, is not to entertain the audience,but to "educate" the cast. I guess they can't be educated by the theatrical experience itself. Obviously if one lives in a community where one cannot do "Birdie" because "kids don't listen to their parents" is offensive, you're not going to be doing "9 to 5". Obviously one has to adjust to the community where one lives. I find nothing wrong with "new material". - but would love to hear the examples of the "edgy" you have produced where you teach. I still maintain there are far too many examples of high school appropriate musicals, to have to attempt anything which is offensive to that school's community. I will walk back my comment about repeating yourself after a few years, although I don't find anything wrong with doing "Annie" and then doing it again 10 years later when the first cast and audience is long gone - but I can sympathize with the director who never wants to redo what he/she has done. However the "same type of matrial" is a broad statement of generalization which need not exclude the wide range of material that would entertain your audience and still educate the students. "My Fair Lady" is certainly different enough from "South Pacific" or "Annie Get Your Gun" or "Oliver!" to not feel there is a monotony in the show choices, and that your cast is not being educated - and the leading lady's ten year old sister in the audience is not seeing material that is offensive. I think if you don't care about the audience for whom your students are performing you are misguided. Part of the audience you are "educating" are the high school kids who see your shows, many of whom will probably never see musicals again in their lifetime. I did not mean to suggest in my post that exciting and educational material is not available from recent shows, and that only the old war horses are your only options. However I do think there is no reason to have 15 to 18 year olds performing material that every member of the audience cannot see without being told to leave "the younger members of the family at home as it is inappropriate". Your grandstanding about "your job is to educate your cast, and not worry about entertaining the audience" or providing " family entertainment" even though your audiences ARE the families of the cast seems arrogant and more about director's ego than concerns about your students.

dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/6/13 at 04:07pm
And if within their four years they do the same style of show over and over, then they have learned or been exposed to very little.

There is nothing wrong with any of the shows you mention, but they are not the only cannon available, nor should they be, to hs students. They read mature material, why shouldn't they be able to perform it?

If they are high school students, why should everything they do be appropriate for ten year olds? That's ridiculous. And yes, I have done a show or two where we have said that the material may not be appropriate to all audience members.

Shows we have done that many other communities would be unhappy with?
Legally Blonde
Sweeney Todd
August:Osage County
Urinetown
The Laramie Project

Not to mention several one act plays that deal with questioning religion and/or sexuality.

Are there shows I wouldn't do or would think go too far? Indeed.

I have no problems with schools that only do safe shows. Good for them, but they are not for my district on a regular basis. My students are far more sophisticated to rely solely on them. (As are many HS students of today.)
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
somethingwicked Profile Photo
somethingwicked
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/05
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/6/13 at 04:14pm
gleek4114, you're aware that you can't just arbitrarily choose to change the scene from the characters smoking pot to them drinking, right? That's a direct violation of the licensing agreement because you're quite literally changing the author's script.

That's not even mentioning the fact that, since hallucination is not a side effect of alcohol consumption, making a choice like that would make zero sense within the context of the scene.
Tonya Pinkins: Then we had a "Lot's Wife" last June that was my personal favorite. I'm still trying to get them to let me sing it at some performance where we get to sing an excerpt that's gone.
Tony Kushner: You can sing it at my funeral.
Updated On: 10/6/13 at 04:14 PM
jemjeb2
Featured Actor
joined:6/28/05
9 to 5 At a High School
Posted: 10/6/13 at 06:02pm
Dramamamma - clearly you teach in a more liberal community than most.. I still question how much the positives of students performing these shows outweighs the negatives - excluding many who want to see family members on stage. If they can perform these shows, why can't they simply read and study them in class? Students are indeed sophisticated, (and today, so are many ten year olds) but frankly always want to be more adult than they actually are. I see your point, but philosophically, I just disagree with instructors who want their students all to be as grown as the most mature in the cast. "Sweeney Todd"? Great show and an example of newer material that is cool, if dark, even for a younger set. Congratulations on having the kind of singing and orchestral talent that could pull off that demanding a show. "The Laramie Project" Wonderful However, I can't agree that there is not enough variance of material out there in the history of theatre to be able to include all audiences for high school musical performances. And perhaps I weaken my argument here, but I tend to think straight plays are more apt an arena for the kind of more mature material than the big annual musical (well, in most schools it is only one a year) which involves more students - larger casts, chorus, and all those kids in the orchestra.

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