Trumbull High School Parents Believe RENT Problem Remains Unsolved

Trumbull High School Parents Believe RENT Problem Remains Unsolved

The drama surrounding Trumbull High School's impending production of Rent continues, as just yesterday, administators committed to moving the show forward on its home turf. This news came after reports that Connecticut's famed Goodspeed Musicals had offered to let the students of Trumbull High School put on their cancelled production of RENT at the Goodspeed Opera House.

The musical had been halted by school administrators at the end of last month, when first-year principal Marc Guarino and the school board decided to cancel the Trumbull High Thespian Society's planned production of Jonathan Larson's hit rock opera.

Read Guarino's full statement below:

The Thespian Club Advisors, Mrs. Spillane and Mrs. Bolan, Dr. Cialfi and I have been in discussion regarding the performance of Rent: School Edition. The objective was to determine when and how the performance could take place in accordance with my original plan for the necessary learning opportunities that are essential as a preparatory process. Rent: School Edition provides opportunity for me to be in concert with the Thespian Club Advisors to implement an annual performance for the Trumbull High School stage.

The learning opportunities are essential. To plan for these, I will be working collaboratively with various groups. Our Intervention Specialist will be key in understanding the significant themes which will carry our cast and crew from production to performance and integrate them throughout the school. We will look to partner with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to provide resources and training for our faculty, staff and students. I will also consult with our student support staff, as well as our Advisory co-chairs to develop appropriate learning experiences through our Advisory program. Groups of students, in addition to the thespians, will contribute to our planned learning experience, such as Peer Leaders and members of the Link Crew. In addition, we are planning community outreach activities to acknowledge these themes. This also provides an excellent opportunity for the THS community to focus its civic and social expectations aligned to our core values and beliefs.

I believe that this process can be accomplished during the 2013/2014 school year if the performance dates can be delayed to Wednesday, April 30, dress rehearsal, through Sunday, May 4, 2014.

Now the question is whether the students will perform the show at their school (on a delayed schedule), or on their previously announced run dates at Goodspeed Opera House. If the production were to go on at the high school, participating students would be unable to attend their previously planned choir trip to England.

According to Howard Sherman, parents have responded to the latest offer with hesitation. They write: "Because some of the media has been reporting that Trumbull has solved its Rent problem, we must be clear that Mr. Guarino and the THS administration have continued their unpopular and untenable practice of deciding first, issuing public statements later, and ignoring the clearly expressed wishes of those whose interests their decisions should be serving. Students and parents in Trumbull do not believe that a solution has been reached, nor a genuine compromise. What has happened instead is a game of politics, with students as pawns, and many of us consider it a travesty."

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