Updated: Aug 12, 2021
Note: Most of us in Survivors of Stage Right share this former student's conflicted feelings, because most of us have also had positive experiences at Stage Right and believe it has the potential, with new and accountable leadership, to be a great force for good in Westmoreland County and beyond.
This position that I am in right now is very conflicting. I’ve had many positive experiences with this organization; I have also had very negative experiences too. I’ve been a favorite in my time, I’ve been supported by the Artistic Director and School Coordinator, I’ve been given many opportunities form this organization. I have felt the love from them but I’ve also experienced the cold shoulder from them too.
I’ve also witnessed countless crazed outbursts from the Artistic Director, often directed at other students, staff members, volunteers, and even myself. Outbursts that the Artistic Director describes as ‘passionate.’ Sadly, there are folks that agree with that description. To isolate these instances would be futile because they happened so frequent.
In regards to student leadership, this organization wants a child who is comfortable with screaming at fellow students in rehearsals in front of professional actors. They want a child who can sub classes for them when they can’t learn their lines for a show, with no payment involved either. They want a child that’s willing to spy on other students and then run back to tell them all the nasty details about other student’s personal lives. They want a child that’s willing to drop everything just to be at the studio, to lead every sensations show, library show, etc. In summation, they want a child that is not only good at their craft, but one that they can easily manipulate. A student leader, a child, who recognizes the issues listed above and attempts to discuss it with the Artistic Director and the School Coordinator, is not wanted. Why, all because they don’t want to make waves with the children who ‘run’ the studio. Then they would lose their free substitute teachers, they would lose their spy on the inside, and they would lose a loyal follower. In short, they’d lose their control.