Tag Archives: Anderson High School

GoFundMe Established for Anderson High School Theatre Teacher

AT_logoHere at Anderson Theatre/Anderson High School we have had a difficult week–Chad Weddle, our Theatre teacher and Artistic Director, had a massive heart attack early Monday. He is in stable condition, and improving every day, but since he and his wife are both public school teachers we are trying to help raise funds for them to cover the large medical costs they will be facing.

Additional information is available on the GoFundMe page.

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Spring Musical is an Impossible Dream Made Possible at Anderson High School

AHS_MOLM_Emma Moulas (sm)

Freshman Emma Moulas is a member of the Ensemble of MAN OF LA MANCHA the AHS Spring Musical that will premiere on YouTube in May.

AHS Spring Musical is an Impossible Dream Made Possible

The students of Anderson Theatre began rehearsals in February for this year’s 57th Spring Musical, “Man of La Mancha.” The most famous song from this musical is “The Impossible Dream,” and that is what the show seemed to become when schools were shut down in mid March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Theatre Teacher and Director Chad Weddle was in his Studio Theatre class when the announcement was made to the school. At first, like the students around him, he panicked. “Then I sat down, took a breath, looked around the room, and thought, “we can still do this. I don’t know how yet, but with these kids, I know we will find a way.’”

As the school closure extended into May, and then to the end of the school year, High Schools and Theatre companies throughout the Cincinnati area began cancelling their productions. Anderson High School, however, had a resource most other organizations did not: a strong Film Department.

“The Anderson High School Spring Musical has been a cornerstone of our community for decades,” says Mr. Weddle. “I felt a responsibility to the thousands of past FHSD students who had carried on the tradition, as well as to my current students—over 120 of them in cast and crew.

“While so many school events, competitions, the prom, concerts, were being cancelled—we knew that if we could do this safely, then we needed to do it, for the emotional health of the students,” Mr. Weddle explained.

Mr. Weddle’s plan to leverage the skills his students had gained in Film classes evolved over the weeks, adapting to new restrictions and guidelines, always with the safety of the students a high priority. It is now complete, and the 57th Spring Musical will be presented as a YouTube Film Premiere event, likely in the final weeks of May.

Paige Resor, a Senior who was cast as Aldonza, says she is very grateful to Mr. Weddle and all the participating students. “Being a senior is so very hard. And I think it’s really great that we found a way to do this, and that everyone is so supportive. I’ve never been a part of a cast who worked so hard for each other.”

Each actor had to create a mini film studio in their home, using only equipment and materials they already had available. Student crew members gave feedback and advice, helping their friends find and solve problems, but the burden was on the actors to get things right. While not every student involved in the original production felt they could continue, over 100 are still contributing to the performance in some fashion.

“I’m not a technician,” admitted Nick Gundrum, a Sophomore who plays one of the Muleteers. “But it started to be fun, something to do. I made my own tripod, and it was fun. It’s gonna be awesome to have that final product we can all look back on. We’ll be able to watch it in the future with everyone and feel like we were a part of something.”

Caitlin Walsh is a Senior and a Student Director for the show. She is pleased with the hard work done by all the students. “It’s not necessarily the easiest thing we have done; it’s a lot to ask of everyone. But we all need that bit of creative spontaneity…that excitement we get from being in Theatre.”

“I am very excited to do this,” says Tommy Sanders, a Junior playing Dr. Carrasco. “With so many other uncertainties and cancellations, it means a lot. While I may not know about this problem or that problem, and I don’t even know when I’ll get out of my house, I do know I have this. I have this opportunity right here.”

AHS_MOLM_Braden Perry (sm)

Braden Perry is a Junior at AHS and plays Anselmo, a Muleteer, in Anderson Theatre’s production of MAN OF LA MANCHA.

Braden Perry, a Junior playing another Muleteer, knows this will have a positive effect on the community, as well. “We’re talking about a tradition where the entire southwest part of Ohio has is interested in what we are putting on,” he says. “If we can impact one person, I think this whole process is worth it.”

“I appreciate everything Mr. Weddle is doing for us, how he’s sticking with the show,” says Stella Scheidler, who plays the Barber. “Theatre is what’s getting us through this.”

“I believe in these students, every one of them.” says Mr. Weddle. “Theatre is partly about the process. Keeping the show alive is our way to continue to spend time together and support one another.”

Mr. Weddle adds, “It’ll be something the students can talk about in years to come, when someone asks them what they did during the quarantine, what happened. When we look down the road we’ll be able to tell them the story of how we were able to come together and create something remarkable. This is what we do. We create together. That’s what we do.”

“Man of La Mancha” will be presented to the public online, free of charge, some time in late May as a YouTube Premiere. For more information, including ways you can donate to the Anderson Theatre department to offset their costs and support future productions, visit www.AndersonTheatre.com. The confirmed date of the Premiere will be posted there and on the Anderson Theatre Facebook page. To view more AHS student film work, including the three short films of their 2020 Film Festival, visit the Anderson Film YouTube Channel.

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Third Annual Film Festival at Anderson High School

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Anderson High School Film students began shooting for the Film Festival in the Fall. This is for a scene in THE RIVER’S EDGE.

In light of the current Stay-at-Home directive, Anderson Theatre & Film will be using YouTube Premiere to present the 2020 Film Festival on Friday, April 24th, beginning at 7:00 pm.

Original Press Release below

On March 27 and 28, student films will once again take center stage at Anderson High School. The young Film Department at AHS, in collaboration with the AHS Symphony Orchestra, will present three short films that are almost entirely student created.

The scripts were written by Seniors Emily Ivanov, Caitlin Walsh, Jack Chandler, and Riley Orth, and the musical score for each film was composed by Senior Ian Baker. The actors and filmmakers are all students, and each night the score will be played live by the AHS Symphony Orchestra students.

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On-screen talent for the Film Festival includes Senior Mason Weber as Isaac and Senior Riley Orth as Sean in TANGLED LINE.

Film Teacher Chad Weddle, who founded the Film department in 2016, directed each of the three films, and says that they offer something special for local audiences. “You won’t be watching students perform other people’s work, you’ll be witnessing their own very personal stories, their own creative process. This program allows the students to truly share their voice with the community.”

“With three different films on the ticket,” says Orchestra Director Felipe Morales-Torres,  “audiences are guaranteed to hear a wonderful variety of original music, from lush fantasy soundtracks to somber folk melodies and dreamy mechanical inventions.”

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The short film STORIES FROM THE DREAMSCAPE required surreal, dreamlike sequences that challenged the student filmmakers.

This is Mr. Morales-Torres’ second year working with the Department, and he appreciates the challenge this format brings to his music students. “It is remarkable to watch them perform in sync with the film, but knowing that everything was created by students is all the more impressive.”

The three short films are distinct, but Mr. Weddle points out that they share a common theme. “The films deal with loss, abuse, peer pressure, all things that families throughout society face every day. The student authors do not shy away from these issues, but rather meet them head on. Every audience member will see or hear something during the evening that will resonate deeply with them.”

Tickets to each showing are $10. Seating is reserved, and tickets can be purchased in advance at www.Showtix4U.com, or at the door each night. Box office opens at 6:15 and the films begin at 7:00.

AHS_Film Festival 20

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Heat-up February with Anderson Theatre’s THE CRUCIBLE

AT_The Crucible logoMaster playwright Arthur Miller leads us through a web of deceit and betrayal in this partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the winter of 1692. The story focuses upon John Proctor, his wife, Elizabeth, and Abigail Williams, the young servant-girl who maliciously embroils an entire town in a crucible of lies, accusations, and terror.

Winner of the 1953 Tony Award for Best Play, THE CRUCIBLE offers an unflinching view of what can happen when justice and truth fall victim to the worst impulses of humanity, and how a society struggles to retain its morality in the face of manipulation, fear, and blind self-interest.

This show will be best appreciated by children in grades 5 and up. Performances are February 14 and 15 at 7:00 pm and February 16 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or ordered by visiting www.AndersonTheatre.com.

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Anderson Theatre brings MAMMA MIA! to the Titus Stage this November!

AHST_Mama Mia #1Warm your heart on a Greek Island paradise where, on the eve of her wedding, Sophie’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother Donna’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. Friends and family sing, dance, and share secrets as they try to reconcile Donna’s past with Sophie’s future. Emotions run high and surprises abound in this sunny and funny musical tale of love and friendship, appropriate for all ages.

Set to the unforgettable music of ABBA, the show includes such hits as “Super Trouper”, “Lay All Your Love on Me”, “Dancing Queen”, “Knowing Me, Knowing You”, and “Take a Chance on Me.” It premiered on London’s West End in 1999, on Broadway in 2001, and is the longest-running jukebox musical in Broadway history. Over 60 million people have seen “Mamma Mia” since its 1999 debut, and this November Anderson Theatre gives you the chance to fall in love with it as well. Don’t let this ship sail without you!

Performances are November 22 and 23 at 7pm and November 24 at 2pm. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased online at www.showtix4u.com/events/AndersonTheatre.

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