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School Plays

January 25, 1987

In Dan Sullivan's report on the most popular plays in high-school theater (Stage Wire, Jan. 10), he quotes USA Today's reprinting of a chart from Dramatics magazine.

Some clarification is in order. Dramatics is the official publication of the International Thespian Society, an organization set-up to assist play enthusiasm in high schools via the establishment of troupes, much like boy scout or girl scout troops.

The "survey" is based on what high schools "report" they are doing. The problem is this: Only about 2,200 high schools in the nation belong to the Thespian Society, a mere fraction of the total number. Also, each year only about 15% to 20% even take the trouble to answer the survey form.

The Thespian Society's annual report leaves out what about 90% of the high schools are performing. On that list one is likely to find such items as "Tumbleweeds," "Lost Horizon," "Voices From the High School" and a long list of plays designated specifically for young players.

To quote the Dramatics survey and list the rarefied items at the Theater Festival simply ain't telling it like it is.

C. RANDOLPH

Los Angeles

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