Lights Are Back On in Valley View School Theater Program
Theater productions have been a staple at Valley View School for many decades. Generations of neophyte actors have participated in this program, usually consisting of two major plays per year. Sadly, over the two years of the pandemic, the lights were out on the Valley View stage. To the joy of staff and students, the theater program will resume in June with a production of “Loopy” by Shawn Deal and a video compilation of original “Super Bowl” commercials. Students will perform for the community on June 11th, and for parents on the evening before students’ June 18th graduation.
Jay Burnett has been director of the theater program for the last 10 years. He has directed a wide variety of dramatic and comedic productions. Jay states, “Students at Valley View were given the opportunity to learn and experience firsthand the hard work it takes to put on a theatrical production.” Jay goes on to say, “It takes courage and commitment to perform in a play before one’s peers and the public. Confidence and self-esteem flow from experiences such as this. Often our boys surprise themselves with their capabilities on stage.” Those students who do not wish to perform on stage are able to contribute by constructing the set and handling the sound and lighting. It is truly a team effort.
In a world saturated with technology, the theater offers an opportunity to personally engage with peers, generate creative ideas, and express the complexity and nuance of the human experience. For students struggling to learn to express themselves appropriately, theater can provide a rich experience in the skills of communication. It is wonderful to have the Valley View Players back on stage.
About Valley View School
Valley View School, founded in 1970, is a private therapeutic boarding school serving boys in grades 6-12. Our non-profit 501(c)(3) school is located in the central Massachusetts town of North Brookfield. The Valley View Program consists of a comprehensive blend of Therapy, Academics, Athletics, Arts, and Activities challenging our students emotionally, intellectually, and physically. The boys learn self-control and anger management, social skills in order to create and cultivate relationships with peers and adults while developing compassion, empathy, and respect for others and to realize their true potential.