I've been hearing a lot of students questioning the value of college balanced against the amount of debt that is accrued.  If my daughter were heading to college next year, hear is the advice that I would give her:

College is not job training. College is (and was and always will be) an initiation into the world of academic thought and reasoning. It is designed to prepare a student to be part of what is today called "the knowledge economy." 

If a HS grad would like to do a job that requires only functionary training for the labor economy (in other words, the worker needs to understand how a process works and plays a role in that process for your specific company) then there is no need to go to college (unless there are some specific certifications required, which can often be obtained from trade schools). I'm not speaking only of manual labor here, I'm speaking of all jobs that require minimal creative thought or analysis. Many (not all) administrative, service and yes manual labor jobs fall into this category. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS PATH! Many people who have these jobs are very intelligent and develop impressive expertise over years of experience. Most of these jobs offer limited responsibility, so when you clock out your life is yours. 

However, if you want a job in which your salary and value to the company is based on your original thought, creativity, analysis, etc. then you probably need to go to college. And the reason is that college actually DEVELOPS your critical thinking, creativity and analysis skills, not that you simply need a piece of paper to get the interview. Jobs in the knowledge economy pay more and are more stable than functionary jobs. If you loose your job, it is MUCH easier to find a new job or even shift to another field without returning to entry level, because your skills are much more broad based and not specialized to a single function or field. The downside - you often have a lot more responsibility and your job may require a commitment beyond the standard hours of employment.

So the question is, how does the HS graduate see themselves and their life? If they will be happy performing a function at their job, keeping their work and home life separate, and running the risk of loosing their job and having to start again from the bottom, then they should consider getting the minimum training necessary for their field.

But if the student wants to be paid for their original contribution to the field that they love, then the path is still higher education. And despite the high costs, the statistics still support that there is financial payout in the long run for the average student.

Sweeney – Run notes from 2/11 final dress

OUR GOAL: - The goal is not perfection. It never is and it never will be in live theatre. If perfection is the goal, we are playing the wrong game. Anyone who has ever been on stage for more than a few performances notices that it’s impossible to do the same show twice exactly the same way – it can’t be done. We are all different human beings in a million tiny physical and emotional ways from day to day. And when you combine those little differences into this big complicated collaboration with each other and the audience, the result from night to night will be as different as thumb prints.

So if the goal isn’t perfection, then what? Truth. The goal is to get our minds and bodies and spirits to fill this structure (music, words, blocking, etc.) with Truth every night. If we can do it truthfully, we will have done it well. Even if there are rough edges, even if the structure isn’t perfect, Truth will win.  Live in the truth of this story every time you step on stage, and you cannot go wrong.

Drop a line? We in the audience didn’t notice. Make a mistake? We forgive you. Leave your heart in the wings? We will feel it.  That’s the way of live theatre. And that’s why I know that this weekend is going to be a tremendous success. Thanks to each of you – every single member of the cast, crew, and orchestra, for making this show your Truth for these weeks. I can’t wait for people to share in this story.

Hedda Gabler - A Note from the Director

Have you seen the movie Mean Girls (2004) starring Lindsay Lohan?  Well, I see Hedda Gabler as a “mean girl” of the 19th century. She is the daughter of the wealthy and powerful General Gabler, entertained with horseback riding and pistols, courted by every eligible man in the county, and trained in the politics of the dinner party. She lies, manipulates, and uses all those around her. In this play Ibsen attempts to reveal the underlying reasons for her misbehavior.

As the play begins, Hedda is horrified to find herself married to a middle class History professor and looking forward to a life of service to her husband and (potential) children. She longs to have the same power as her male counterparts.  While the men debate big ideas, drink, explore their sexuality, and take credit for their accomplishments, the female characters each find themselves in a life of service. Hedda discovers that although she is the most intelligent and competent person in her world, she is the least in control of her life.

I think audiences are challenged by this play largely because Hedda is so “mean” and we are less likely to identify with a character that acts outside of social and moral boundaries. I hope that while you experience this production you are able to look past her petty actions and see the world from Hedda’s eyes.