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Helping students

Dear Editor:

I just completed a fantastic, exhausting, wonderful, challenging, exceptional, difficult, exhilarating, moving experience with some of the best high school students in the country.

Work on “Hairspray” began with a choice of show almost a year ago, and ended this past weekend with a flurry of performances, music, dance, cast party, tear-down, joy and tears.

For the past several months, most of my time was spent on and off the stage breathing and living the production of “Hairspray” and helping our students learn, develop, improve and discover their love of performing. We spent many hundreds of hours together, not only studying and practicing vocals; not only stretching our dancing skills; not only digging deep and perfecting our acting roles, but also trying to be better human beings, more patient, more compassionate, more accepting.

Each and every one of our cast of 45 walked away from “Hairspray” with more than just having achieved excellence in performance — they all took steps forward in their growth as unique individuals. And I am grateful for the work and the time and the opportunity and the hugs and tears and cake and balloons; and most of all for them.

Dale Johnson

This story was posted on April 10, 2014.