Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater [NOOK Book]

Overview

Friday Night Lights meets Glee—the incredible and true story of an extraordinary drama teacher who has changed the lives of thousands of students and inspired a town.



Why would the multimillionaire producer of Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and Miss Saigon take his limo from Manhattan to the struggling former steel town of Levittown, Pennsylvania, to see a high school ...
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Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater

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Overview

Friday Night Lights meets Glee—the incredible and true story of an extraordinary drama teacher who has changed the lives of thousands of students and inspired a town.



Why would the multimillionaire producer of Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and Miss Saigon take his limo from Manhattan to the struggling former steel town of Levittown, Pennsylvania, to see a high school production of Les Misérables? To see the show performed by the astoundingly successful theater company at Harry S Truman High School, run by its legendary director, Lou Volpe. Broadway turns to Truman High when trying out controversial shows like Rent and Spring Awakening before they move on to high school theater programs across the nation. Volpe’s students from this blue-collar town go on to become Emmy-winning producers, entertainment executives, newscasters, and community-theater founders. Michael Sokolove, a Levittown native and former student of Volpe’s, chronicles the drama director’s last school years and follows a group of student actors as they work through riveting dramas both on and off the stage. This is a story of an economically depressed but proud town finding hope in a gifted teacher and the magic of theater.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The drama program at Harry S Truman High School in Levittown, Pennsylvania is not your average HS theatre project. For one thing, it's a national standout: Broadway producers travel to this unemployment plagued industrial town to see productions staged by its veteran drama director Lou Volpe. For another, its actors are not bound-for-glory rich kids; in the middle of rehearsal, you might expect to see one of the lead actors rush off stage and change into his or her Chick Fil-A uniform. Michael Sokolove's Drama High captures the brilliance, grit, and determination of an exemplary teacher and his awe-inspiring students. (P.S. This book has been described justly as "Friday Night Lights meets Glee." Unfortunately, it is also timely: Director Volpe retired in June.)

The New York Times Book Review - Alisa Solomon
…as much a personal memoir as it is equal parts admiring profile…tribute to the power of arts education and jeremiad on the evaporation of middle-class opportunity…[Sokolove] is conspicuously present, expressing astonishment at the work he witnesses, reflecting on his own upward trajectory and occasionally ranting, honorably, against the widening income gap and the "small-bore metrics" that have ruinously subsumed public education in recent years…Whether the fulfillment of a school's mission must rely on a few heroic teachers, rather than be addressed institutionally and systemically, is not Sokolove's subject. He shines a heartening light on how one of those passionate heroes devoted himself, as Volpe himself puts it, to educating, rather than training, young people.
Library Journal
09/15/2013
The auditorium of Harry S Truman High School in Levittown, PA, might seem an unlikely venue for a production that caught the eye of a Broadway producer like Sir Cameron Mackintosh, but that's exactly what happened when the school's theater teacher, Lou Volpe, directed its production of Les Misérables. The theater program at Truman has been so successful that when Music Theatre International, which licenses Broadway productions, looks for a school to pilot a high school version of a play, it often turns to the stage where the first high school versions of Rent and Spring Awakening were also performed. Sokolove (contributing writer, New York Times Magazine; The Ticket Out; Hustle; Warrior Girls) grew up in Levittown and is a former student of Volpe's, and that experience informs his narrative. He chronicles the on- and off-stage lives of Volpe (who just retired after 44 years at Truman) and his students and writes movingly of the challenges they faced. VERDICT You don't have to be a "Gleek" to enjoy this compelling account of the power of theater. [See Prepub Alert, 4/1/13.]—Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101632109
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/26/2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 159,512
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Michael Sokolove is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, as well as the author of three previous books, The Ticket Out, Hustle, and Warrior Girls. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    Awesome

    Hfhdmzmxmd

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