A Unique Artistic Partnership with Providence High School

 

 

Our Journey Home

 

A Problem to Solve

residence-1In 2009 DiscoveryOnstage was hired by Providence High School to partner with them in solving a problem. Like many private schools at the time, despite its reputation for academic excellence, Providence’s enrollment numbers were on the decline, its financial resources limited and its need to redefine itself as a top choice within the private school market at an all time high. The school’s idea was to identify and build upon existing areas of strength… components of the school that were already garnering enthusiasm from both students and parents… creating more definable characteristics that could separate Providence High from its competition. Since the school already had in place a thriving after school drama club run by an enthusiastic group of student, parent and faculty volunteers, they decided that this would be a good place from which to grow. After holding a series of interviews with perspective drama teachers, the school concluded that DiscoveryOnstage and its resources, rather than an individual, would be the most innovative approach toward solving the problem.

A Creative Approach

Excited by the new opportunity, DiscoveryOnstage crafted a three part strategy: formalize a curriculum, renovate the performance space, and create a culture rooted in excellence. That in mind, within the first year we designed and implemented a UC approved Drama I elective class which fulfilled a student’s Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) requirement; built a 250 seat theatre-in-the-round inside the school’s unused gymnasium (the previous performance space) with monies raised through ticket sales earned through our first production; and created a brand extension (Providence High Arts) and business model for the program that would broaden reach, raise awareness and elevate expectation. This “business model” allowed us to approach the on-campus arts programming as if it were a company and our students its managers. They would participate in every phase of the creative process From the Imagination Up promoting a sense of ownership over our product.

Expanded Expectations

Eight years later, the Providence High Arts theatre program in partnership with DiscoveryOnstage is thriving and the school’s enrollment numbers are up. With participation from nearly twenty five percent of the student population, the program now consists of three UC Approved drama classes, has produced nearly twenty productions hosting over 20,000 audience members, and has earned awards from theatre organizations including the Drama Teacher’s Association of Southern California and the California Educational Theatre Association. Additionally, students who’ve participated in the program have gone on to earn scholarships at reputable universities including NYU, Boston College, Chapman University and USC.