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During the 1980s, productions such as Magic To Do, Godspell, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and The Sound of Music were held in the cafeteria and the gym. Archbishop Donnellan was a “believer” in theatre, and after a huge campaign in 1983 and 1984, The Young Center for the Performing Arts was constructed. In 1986, Oklahoma was the first of many standing room only productions in our new home.
During the 1990’s, more drama classes were added, and the Pius Players was full of acting hopefuls. Approximately 40% or more of the student population was involved in music, dance, drama or art. Highlight shows were: The Boy Friend, The Sound of Music, Camelot, Fiddler on the Roof, Plain and Fancy, The Wiz, Godspell, South Pacific, and Over Here.
The Pius Players were now performing four to five shows every year-a fall play, a one-act play, a children’s musical and a spring musical. The drama department became a co-curricular program, not simply a club. Every Spring, two days were set aside for tour shows for our feeder schools in order to promote the program. In the 2000s, productions such as Into the Woods, She Loves Me, Star Mites, Grease, West Side Story, and Oklahoma packed the theatre. During the last twenty-one years, eight different drama courses have been created and are currently offered. To date, at least 70% of the student body enjoys a class in the arts.
Monsignor Young’s vision for a serious Arts Department has become a reality. Through the years, the unconditional love and support of students, parents, the alumni, faculty, friends, and staff has, to quote Candide, “made our garden grow.”
(Little Red Riding Hoodlum photo courtesy of St. Pius X Arts Society sponsor, Dry Branch Photography)