Since people insist on asking my opinion on WCP doing “High School Musical” as their summer musical, in addition to their continued caterwauling about the show, I decided to give my opinion on it here.
While theater is an art form, it is also a business, even for non-profits. They have to figure out how to get butts in their seats. And while last year’s musical, “Into the Woods”, was definitely art, it did not sell very well.
By doing a recognizable commodity such as “High School Musical”, Waterloo Community Playhouse will hopefully have a run of the show that sells very well. At the very least there will be younger audience members, which God knows the Waterloo Community Playhouse needs.
And so for all those out there upset over the selection of that show as the musical, I ask you to say what you wish they were doing? I know one person wishes they could do “Avenue Q”, which I believe doesn’t have amateur rights available. Do you wish they could do “Rocky Horror Show”? Too vulgar for the donors, trust me. Do you wish they could do “Hairspray” or “Sweeney Todd”? For the first, royalties are probably too much and very restricted. For the second, it’s too dark for the donors.
If “High School Musical” is anything like the film, it is a sanitized look at high school that doesn’t show how horrible of an experience it can be, especially for the gay drama geeks. And since some high schools are doing it, I would have to assume that the royalties aren’t that expensive. Sounds like that will satisfy everyone.
For those that are complaining, I invite you to do two things: for starters, you can look at WCP and Cedar Falls Community Theatre’s 2009-2010 season line-up. And last, but not least, wonder what the lack of audience members, particularly younger audiences, will do to the live theater scene in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area.
It would die.