I've been running the WCHS Troupe 6172 Thespian site for 20+ years now.
I am going to try to keep it going while staying in accordance with the multiple legislative changes to education made recently, specifically HB 241 (2021) and HB 1557 (2022) which had their rules and restrictions extended from K-3 students to grades 4-12 by the FL Board of Education at the end of the 2022-23 school year.
From July 1, 2023 onwards, these changes will take place.
No biographical information or "personal pages" will be posted for any Thespian
All performers in every show must have written permission from a parent or guardian to appear in any archival show photography
Programs showing cast and crew information will no longer appear on this website
Thespian points will no longer be calculated, nor will they appear on the website
One of the core FL State Standards for Theater is:
Explore how gender, race, and age are perceived in plays and how they affect the development of theater.
As a state standard, you are required to learn about these topics, and to engage in classroom conversations on how gender, race and age affect character motivations, physical production, relationships, and actions.
As your teacher, I believe you can take on scene work as any gender, race or age if you are willing to honestly and sincerely engage with the work necessary to understand how the character you are playing is different from the person you are. This is the basic foundation of Acting; every character will necessarily be different from you.
You have never been, and never will be required to play a character that you are uncomfortable with.
As a FL teacher, some legal lines on content have blurred and not quite settled into focus for me. For example, some Shakespeare plays have been banned for 9th graders in Orlando just this month. "Almost, Maine" has been straight-up banned. I'm trying to make this all work.
While we wait for FL's legal picture to stabilize, you will be required to get a parent signature for every scene you do "work on."
"Scene work" will refer to any scene that you prepare for, whether for in-class or public performance.
My Thespian 'lending library' of 500+ titles will be closed until further notice.
I plan on casting performers in the roles that best suit their skill set, in the spirit of the US Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prevents discrimination against job applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
As a FL student, your parent has the right to make the decision as to what "job" you apply to, in this case, as a performer.
This applies to students who have turned 18. You are still covered until FL HB 241 (2021).
Parent signatures on audition paperwork will now be required for the Fall and Spring public performances.
Audition paperwork will now include the question: Are you, and your parent/guardian, comfortable with you playing as a male / female / &-or gender-neutral character?
Actors have been dressing in non-gender-conforming costumes for over 5,000 years. I will add pre-production signage to this effect, and include this fact to my "opening speech" before performances start. I will offer refunds to any audience members who take offense.
All Film Festivals will now take place in the evening, instead of during school hours.
Parents will now need to sign off on their child's participation in a Film Festival entry.
Parents must be provided with a copy of the film's script, concept, storyboard, or shot list, presented in a manner that allows parents to fully understand what type of work their child is appearing in.
I will be following up in '23-24 with the District Supervisor for Fine Arts to see if I can keep the YouTube channel going. Right now, it's "frozen in time" as it was before the 'Parents Bill of Rights' affected grades 4-12.
I don't know if these changes will be sufficient.
I will also be talking with our Principal, and our Assistant Principal for Fine Arts.
If I have to make changes, or shut things down, I will.
Let's work together to keep Theater and Film lively, relevant, rewarding, fun, and awesome.