Celebrating the Drama: 100 Years of Theatre at E. C. Glass

In the 1909-1910 school year, the Lynchburg High School Dramatic Society was organized by Lynchburg High School English teacher Miss Mattie Craighill.  During the 1911 commencement week, the dramatic society produced its first play, The Doctor’s Dilemma, which was written by Annie Woodruff (LHS ’11).   Since that time the name of the school has been changed to E. C. Glass and the Dramatic Society is now known as E. C. Glass Theatre but the work that began 100 years ago continues, stronger than ever.

Throughout the 2009-2010 school year, E. C. Glass Theatre is celebrating its 30th anniversary and the 100th year of drama activities at Glass High School.  Throughout the year, a number of special activities are planned to coincide with these special anniversaries.  Each of the six E. C. Glass Theatre productions this season are encores of plays that have been produced during the past 100 years, and for each of these plays an alumnus from the original E. C. Glass production has been designated as a featured alumnus.  During the run of the play, the featured alumnus returns to the school, meets with the cast and crew, receives special recognition in the production playbill, and attends a performance.  In February, E.C. Glass Theatre is hosting an alumni reunion which will coincide with the first weekend performances of The Music Man.  During the reunion weekend, more than 450 E.C.G. Theatre alumni are expected to return to Lynchburg for a series of events.  A highlight of the weekend will be a public forum featuring all six featured alumni entitled “I Was a High School Theatre Student and Look Where I am Today!”  The goal of the forum is to discuss how arts education helps prepare young people to be productive and successful citizens of the world in a wide variety of career choices.  The Forum is open to the public and is free of charge. It will be held in E. C. Glass’ Marie Waller Lecture Hall at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 20.   All the reunion information can be obtained by visiting the E. C. Glass Theatre website at ecglasstheatre.org and clicking “Reunion Site.”

In February, E. C. Glass staff and students will host two alumni Artists-in-Residence to assist with their production of The Music Man.  The musical was the first ever performed by E. C. Glass actors in 1971.  Returning to direct and choreograph the show is Enrique Brown who graduated from Glass and Virginia School of the Arts in 1995.  He began his performing career as a principal dancer with Ballet Oklahoma and then moved to New York City where he appeared in the award-winning Broadway revivals of Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, and The Music Man, and has just finished a two-year run in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.  Appearing as Prof. Harold Hill in the show, Matt Fletcher (ECG ’03) graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre from the University of Virginia.  While attending UVa Fletcher was an Irene Ryan Award national finalist, appeared in a staged reading of Third with Jane Alexander, and received the William Demoville Pettway Prize given to the outstanding graduating senior in the drama department.  He is the producing artistic director of the Sideshow Theatre Company in Chicago where he has received critical acclaim for his performances, including rave reviews for his one-man show, Dante Dies

In addition to working with The Music Man, Brown and Fletcher will be visiting a number of Lynchburg City Schools to conduct workshops with the students.  They will also be meeting with local civic organizations and clubs to talk about their careers and the impact LCS and Glass Theatre had on their lives.

Performances of The Music Man are February 19, 20, 25, 26 & 27 at 7:30 pm and February 21 & 28 at 2:30 pm in the Auditorium.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for Students, Children, and Senior Citizens. Tickets can be purchased on-line at ecglasstheatre.org or at the Auditorium Lobby Box Office weekdays from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm beginning on February 11.

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