Thursday, April 29, 2010

Original Open Letter from Barbara Gensler, SHS Drama Director

You may have read about the SHS Alumni Association in today's newspaper at

Here is the original letter posted in April to SHS Alumni and Friends.

Dear Drama Alumni, Friends of SHS Drama and Parents,

After 40 years spent in a joyous career, I find myself in the position of having to ask for your help. Up to this time the Shorewood Drama Department has been solvent and successful in its drive for excellence in all aspects of the theater arts. Our shows have continued to wow audiences on stage and back stage. Unfortunately, Shorewood School District is going through tough monetary times and although our academics continue to be strong, our sports achievements high and all of our arts areas excel, there must be budget cuts. The drama department has been cut before, five years ago we lost the full time drama teacher at SIS, seven years ago we lost our make-up advisor, then our 7th hour publicity advisor, and last year, our freshman acting instructor. We are down to two teachers who are part time drama teachers adding up to one full time teacher and a costume aide. We no longer have a feeder system, a makeup or publicity teacher 7th hour. We have managed without them by accepting more and more responsibility. Unfortunately, the cut proposed once again for the 2010-2011 school year will devastate us and neither of us can pick up the slack. It has been proposed that our costume position be eliminated. Last year, this was proposed and by giving up the freshman acting instructor and some donations, we held the position. Now this year, we are asked to give up the costume position as well. By losing the position, we lose the costume inventory that has been cherished for the past fifty years-we still have some WPA built costumes in our collection. Costumes are not a frill. It is an integral part of dramatic arts. We need to try to keep the position and I need your help.

If we can raise enough money to cover this position for one year that may allow us to keep it in the future. The salary is $15,000 and benefits. I am not asking for huge donations from a few people, although that would be wonderful, I am asking that you help us with whatever you can afford. Your donation must be designated for supporting the costumer’s position in order for us to receive the credit. Please help us keep Shorewood Drama in tact. Hopefully this department will continue to train students in the three most important areas of theater.

Barbara Gensler

Mail to SHS Alumni Assn, PO Box 11427, Shorewood, WI 53211; checks made out to SHS Alumni for Costumer; Or use donate button on this site.

Thank you so much for considering a gift for this important piece of Shorewood's legacy.

Note: The SHS Alumni Association will cover all merchant fees for online credit card processing so that your full online donation will go towards the costumer.

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