Local Drama Club Honored with the Chance of a Lifetime

By: Vanessa Lee Abraham

Thirteen lucky students from Stow-Monroe Falls High School’s Drama Club will be going on an adventure of a lifetime in August of 2020, as long as they can hit their fundraising target. They are one third of the way there after tireless efforts to raise the $6262 they need per student to travel to Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Drama Club was nominated and selected to perform at The Fringe Festival via the American High School Theater Festival. They are one of thirty-five groups representing North America and the only Drama Club going from Ohio.

The students have been expanding their skill sets creating up-cycled products for craft shows, washing cars, and selling raffle tickets to hit their target.

Robert Putka, who has devoted the last 45 years to teaching the arts in Stow, explains that the students will be performing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), a ninety-minute performance, which he describes as “an irreverent poke at The Bard.” The students will begin their rehearsals in June after they facilitate a Drama Camp for kids, another fundraiser to help cover the costs of royalties and promotional materials.

Local businesses, like Dairy Queen, SkyZone, Audio Tech, and Ron Marhoffer are helping the SMFHS Drama Club reach their goal, but they have a long way to go, even after Mr. Putka pulled in $3600 sporting a kilt on stage for The Kilt Challenge fundraiser. You can support this very talented group of 9th to 12th grade students by visiting https://www.gofundme.com/f/smfhs-drama-scotland-2020.

Vanessa Lee Abraham is an educator, author, and artist who advocates for social and emotional learning and increased self-awareness for all ages. She deeply values how All the Arts develop the whole person. Vanessa offers products and facilitates artsy self-discovery workshops that enhance one’s self-awareness via Smile Inside. She is also a fused glass artist who hand cuts, designs, and fuses glass to create unique pieces she likes to call Gazing Glass. Vanessa discovered alcohol inks a few years ago and was recently commissioned to combine her inked and glass pieces to create the 2019 Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.  You can follow her @thesmileinside and @gazingglassstudio.