Letter: FHS Theatre Collection
To The Editor:
I was involved in theatre at Fremont High School from 2006-2010. It had a huge impact on me and some of my fondest high school memories were spent at the Dogwood. After graduation, I returned to FHS theatre as the assistant director for two seasons. It was so fulfilling to go back and see how theatre is still impacting FHS students and providing fun shows to our Fremont community. I'm no longer the assistant director, but I still value and support the program as an alumni and community member.
Which is why, when I heard about the recent sale of FHS theatre property by representatives from the Fremont Rec Center Board, I was frustrated, angry and upset.
For years, FHS theatre has stored all furniture, props, decor supplies, costumes, etc in a pit located at the old high school. It's not in an area open to the general public and you had to have a key to get into the pit. The collection...
...took decades to accumulate and was invaluable to FHS theater. Parents and community members donated to it, past and current directors bought items to add to it, and some grant money was used to purchase items as well. These items belonged to FHS theater and no one else.
When the new high school was built, there was a gentleman's agreement made between the principal at FHS and the rec center board that the items in the pit could remain there. If they had to be removed, the principal and theatre director would be given notice to do so.
That gentleman's agreement was honored until this winter, when a FHS theatre alumni noticed familiar items on sale at a local auction site. Items that were used on stage during their time in theatre.
After some investigating, it was discovered that the rec center seized all the items in the pit, claimed them as the rec center's property and were selling them for funds for the rec center. No warning was given to the FHS principal or theatre director. Some items were able to be salvaged, but they had to be bought back. Now, they have to start from scratch in building that collection again.
This all happened weeks before FHS theatre opened their spring musical "Grease." Weeks before they were about to put on their first ever musical, all of their props, furniture, costumes, supplies were gone. These kids are already some of the hardest working kids I've ever met, but I don't know how they and Shayn Doran, the director, did it. Not only did they put on a great show, but they sold out their Saturday night performance.
But as an alumni, community member, supporter of the fine arts and youth programs, I'm angry. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter about the cost of replacing all of those items. What matters is that those students didn't deserve to have the rug swept from underneath them weeks before a show. Those students deserved better and I'm outraged that adults in our community put money before students.
I feel members of the rec center board had a lot to do with the sale of the items and I'm bound and determined to see them be reprimanded for their actions. If you're an alumni, community member, parent of a student in FPS, supporter of youth programs, etc I encourage you to join me. This kind of behavior is unacceptable and we can't sit back and accept it.
The next city council meeting is on Monday, May 15th at 7 PM and I encourage everyone to join me.
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