Mathematically, it just doesn’t add up. Take a group of about six hundred high school girls, give them the task of creating two school-wide competing musicals that include all the basic elements of theater, without the benefits of an extended timeline or a generous budget and then anticipate a delightfully creative, energetic production evidenced by sold-out performances. It may not “add up” but that is exactly what happens every year, at Rosary High School.
Rosary High School is a Catholic High School for girls located in Fullerton, California. It’s a high school, like many others, populated with students of diverse interests and skills. It isn’t made up of students who have all decided to pursue a profession in theater or the arts. But once a year, for six weeks, they work together like they were auditioning for the TV show Smash!
Red and Gold is their honored, forty-two year tradition. Its goal is to “unify the school community and profoundly deepen school spirit, loyalty, and pride.” The students are divided into two teams (the Red and Gold Teams) which are led by student producers and captains. These teams must then work to create a script that coordinates with the year’s theme as well as produce dance/musical numbers, create costumes, track the budget and create publicity ,and build props and scenery. And don’t assume that those girls can’t wield power tools! The local boys Catholic high school, Servite, provides some technical support as the Black Team, but the girls don’t ever forget who is in charge. The White Team (a neutral team made up of ASB members and representatives of the junior and senior class) helps with the logistics and announces the winner at the end of the last performance. The performances truly have to be witnessed to be believed.
Watch the girls at the Red and Gold kick-off rally and the 2012 theme is announced.
I remember the first time that I sat in the audience for a Red and Gold Production. The energy in the theater was unmistakable and when the girls hit the stage, their obvious dedication and talent overwhelming. It is rare within the intimidating high school experience that the opportunity is provided for students to take a risk and try something they have never done before with the support of friends and peers. It is true that this kind of achievement would never be possible if it weren’t for a school administration/staff that supports the idea and champion the girls along the way, and the parents, who are the girls’ biggest fans. But it is a testament to the girls, themselves, and the power of teamwork. Collaborating to achieve a common goal while celebrating individual strengths… priceless life skills best learned by experiencing them first hand. Kudos to Rosary High School, and its staff, for recognizing that fact. And praise to those Rosary girls who go above and beyond to make Red and Gold such a magical event.
“Where the Sidewalk Ends” is this year’s Red and Gold theme. The performance opens on Friday night, March 9, with additional performances on Saturday, March 10, at the Servite Theater, in Anaheim.