FHN Theater: Powerhouse of the Forest Hills Schools

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FHN Theater: Powerhouse of the Forest Hills Schools

Set of Newsies at the FAC

Set of Newsies at the FAC

Set of Newsies at the FAC

Set of Newsies at the FAC


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By: Davis Van Skiver

January 10th, 2019

At Forest Hills Northern the theater program is very well known for huge, awe-inspiring productions. Recent productions include Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Productions at Northern are unlike most other high school productions around the country. Northern excels in not only bringing the best shows but also the best talent.

The Northern High School Theater program has a special partnership with Disney which gives them the first opportunity to perform newly created Disney shows such as Newsies. This Disney partnership helps Northern’s program in many ways. First of all, the shows are much more interesting and relevant, making them much more desirable to see. It also brings students to compete in an elite theater showcase in Florida at Disney World. With theater workshops, they can learn new skills as well.

This year the cast of Newsies has been invited once again to Florida to perform a short scene for a panel of judges. The cast will go to Orlando and stay in Disney hotels during the week.

The last time Northern was invited, it was for Mary Poppins in 2016. At this competition, many lead roles won best vocal and best acting awards, and Mr. Howard won the award for best director. The cast also got the chance to perform on downtown Disney at the outdoor stage.

The casts of Northern’s shows are not the only revered thing about the theater program. The crew, including lights and sound, won awards as well. At Northern, it is on a volunteer basis that the crew is chosen. This year for Newsies, “Over 100 kids volunteered, and I had to cut quite a few kids, which is not very common for most high schools.” Howard says. This is a real testament to how involved our school is and how many people want to be included in such a great theater program.

Another part of the theater program that makes it so impressive is the spring musical theater class that helps less experienced actors build skills. This class also lets kids who don’t have time after school be able to perform. The musical theater class is accompanied by a tech theater class that puts together the set and helps to work as stage crew during the performances.

The Spring musical this year is going to be School of Rock, and rehearsals have already gotten underway. According to Mr. Howard, the talent for the roles is unprecedented, and he is “extremely excited” to see where it ends up.

Based on FHN’s past theater success and a positive outlook from Mr. Howard, this show will be one that you will not want to miss.

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