November Newsletter

November 28, 2021

Thank You!

I want to first say, that I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving break. I also want to thank everyone for supporting your student(s) and the theatre program as a whole. I am very thankful for these levels of support, as they will help ensure your student gets their best experience possible from this program in their short 1-4 years in the program. I am looking forward to working with many of you next semester with all of the wonderful productions coming up later this year.

Cappies Critics

We had sent our Cappies Critic Team to see Park Hill's production of THE ADDAMS FAMILY the weekend before Thanksgiving. On Tuesday, November 23rd, I received an awesome email stating that three of our critics were the three reviews chosen for publication! The following critics were sent for publication by the following new sources:

Marin Chamberlin- The Kansas City Star

Emily Hermes- The Courier Tribune

Annie Gemmill- The Trojan- Park Hill's School Paper

All three are brand new critics this year, too! Let's celebrate and give them each a wonderful shout out when you see them! I am super proud of the team for starting off so strong! Congratulations Marin, Emily, and Annie!

Parent Communication

Parents, if you are receiving this and have not signed up for the mailing list, it is because I have emailed with you recently about joining and I did not see you on the mailing list. Please use the links via the QR codes below to get to our mailing list and also join our band app.

If you know of a current OPHS theatre parent or legal guardian who is not receiving this, please help share this information with them so they may sign up and stay in the loop.


Bring It On: The Musical

The turnout for this show was absolutely amazing! Looking at all ticket sales and comp tickets, we had roughly 1000+ people in attendance at the performance between the three nights! This is spectacular! Even though ticket sales go to the district and not the department directly, it is turnout like this that proves to the district that Oak Park Theatre is worth investing in as a program! We cannot do this without your support. Thank you for being part of this production and helping the directors teach the power and strength of endurance, perseverance, commitment, and problem-solving. These are life skills that challenges and conflict can bring up, and I appreciate you helping me teach them these skills. They will be so valuable when they are older. Thank you!

We also received raving reviews from our Cappies Critics who attended the production. Follow the link here to get to our Cappies Reviews for Bring It On: The Musical!

All photos below by Christina Nguyen


Theatre III/IV is set to perform their annual recruitment show, HOTLINE, this week! This is a comedy about how stress can lead us to say bad words to get our frustrations out, but what if you can't physically use profanity?? Check out this clean language show about profanity! It is a comedy geared toward middle school and high school aged students. Rated PG. Again, no profanity in the show at all!

December 2-4 @ 7:00 PM

OPHS Little Theater

Tickets $5.00

Special offers in the fundraising and philanthropy sections!

Poster designed by Olivia Zuniga

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Holiday Improv Show!

The Last-mInute Replacements improv team is having their annual holiday improv show just before we attend winter break! All games and all suggestions will be holiday related. Whatever you celebrate this time of year, we will do our best to give some representation based on your suggestions!

December 16th @ 7:00 PM

OPHS Little Theatre

Tickets $5.00

Special offers in the fundraising and philanthropy sections.

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Spring Play

Yes, the rumors are true! I am changing the spring play from TRAP! to something a little bit lighter. I am currently perusing a few comedies and romantic comedies that I am considering. I plan to make a decision very soon and make the official announcement at this month's thespian meeting on Tuesday, December 14th! Auditions for the play will be in January. The audition schedule is below:

Auditions- January 4th

Callbacks- January 5th

Cast List Posted- January 6th

Students who choose to audition can get a copy of the audition application beginning December 13th. Printed ones will be outside the Green Room, and a digital copy to download and print on the show's page and the applications page of the website.


MOD Pizza Food Day

We will have a fundraiser at MOD Pizza on Antioch Rd in Gladstone, MO on Sunday, December 5th from 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM. Please make sure to tell them when you pay that you are eating for Oak Park Theatre Department. This will ensure that the fundraiser comes back to us! Your receipt should say fundraiser. If it does not, please go back and check with the cashier to get that corrected.

You may also order online using the following code at checkout: GR211929Z

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Panera Food Day

We already have planned to keep everyone warm with some good soup in January! We have planned a food day with Panera Bread on January 6th ALL DAY LONG!! Yes! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack! You want it, go get it! Ever feel jolly to bring bagels in for those not on a diet at the start of the new year?? Great time!

Please make sure you tell them you are eating for Oak Park Theatre when you pay. You can also order ahead online and in the app using code PRFUND to get credit back to us!

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We are still pulling through the SAVERS FUNDrive! We have just a few more weeks left to collect supplies! I hope everyone can pull through and bring in a few more bags! We are currently at 35 bags of soft goods and 5 boxes of home goods. We still need roughly 65 more bags of soft goods. Please ask your families and friends who are clearing room for the holidays and all the replacement and new items coming into your home. This is a great way to give back to the department and the community in one swoop! See the flier below for fundraising details.

Ends December 17th

Board meets Saturday, December 18th at 9:00 AM to help move things from OP to SAVERS. Additional vehicles and hands will be appreciated if we meet our goal! I know we can do it!!

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Philanthropy/Community Service

Children's Mercy Toy Drive

We are currently collecting toys for our annual Children's Mercy Toy Drive! Toys can be brought in to the Green Room daily or brought to any of our shows and turned in at the ticket booth. It is important that a receipt is turned in for us to give an estimated value to Children's Mercy Hospital and for our records of donations.

Collection is now through Friday, December 17th. The Thespian Board is heading to Children's Mercy Hospital to donate the toys after dropping off items at SAVERS on the morning of December 18th.

Toys $5 or more in value brought to HOTLINE and the Improv Show with a receipt will admit one person per item.

See the below flier about what items are acceptable for collection this year.

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We are participating in Adopt-A-Family again this year! We have yet to receive specific details about the family we will be sponsoring, but the below flier has some basic retail and grocery options for gift card donations. That's right! We have chosen to participate in the gift card version of Adopt-A-Family again this year! If you'd like to send cash to donate toward Ashpaugh purchasing the family a gift certificate large enough for a family holiday dinner, that would be fine as well.

We are the only group at Oak Park that participates in Adopt-A-Family and I would love it if Oak Park Theatre can represent for the entire school, and be able to give a family a nice holiday this season. Donations will be accepted through Friday December, 17th for gift cards, and cash donations will be accepted through Wednesday, December 15th, as a gift card will need to be purchased.

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Closing Thoughts

Positive Optimism

I am hoping to help not just myself, but my fellow directors, each student in class, each student after school, and each family learn the power of positive optimism. I am making strides to help bring myself up after COVID and help rebuild a new life and a new normal for us after COVID. This is important for our students' education and the longevity of theatre education in our schools. This is how we show the amazing impacts theatre can have on a students' life.

Theatre is helping our students learn coping skills to handle disappointment when they don't get the role or position they dreamed of getting, stress management when it comes to meeting deadlines for productions, balancing activities with school and work, problem solving and resolution skills when working with a challenging individual, and teaching them empathy toward others. These are skills required for college and the workforce, even if theatre is not in their future. These skills are more vital to employers than education, truthfully! Please help to positively motivate our students towards optimism and crawling out of this COVID slump. We are a team and we have to work together to help everyone achieve life long goals and dreams.