A Tale of Two Schools in Philadelphia

One school is an affluent, private Quaker institution and has a very competitive academic atmosphere, a diverse student body, a staggering tuition but plenty of resources to help students and their families defray those costs.

The other is a Philadelphia public school with a lot of pride, its own share of struggles, a storied history and it counts several luminaries among its alumni.

Both are located in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood, a place that is an accurate reflection of the entire city in its mix of affluence and poverty, black and white, new comers and old time residents.

And for the first time in recent memory, both schools are coming together for a common cause – the cause of the arts and performance.

WHYY’s Peter Crimmins produced a story that ran over the weekend about the combined efforts of Germantown Friends School and Germantown High School to present Zora Neale Hurston‘s  Spunk.

I’ll provide a link to the audio when it becomes available in a few minutes.  It includes some sound bites from the director – Elan Gepner – and Lisa Burns, the theater instructor at GFS.

Did you see the production at GFS over the weekend?  Feel free to provide your own thoughts about it in the comments to this post.  Are you a GFS or GHS student, alumni or parent?  What are your thoughts about any future collaborative efforts between the two schools?

I remember from my days as a private school student in North Philadelphia that the there was never any effort to collaborate with any of the nearby public schools and that such a joint effort could have gone a long way towards introducing students from both schools to the realities of their counterparts.  Like director Gepner says in the story, our “contact” with students from the neighborhood public schools were limited to fights on the street.  All parties could benefit from more opportunities to interact in supervised, controlled environments with a common goal to bring them together.

Anyway, according to Crimmins’ story, the performance will be presented again next weekend at GHS so if you missed it the first time, you may still be able to catch it.

Explore posts in the same categories: School performances

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One Comment on “A Tale of Two Schools in Philadelphia”

  1. tiffany prince Says:

    I was apart of the cast ‘Spunk’ and I must say that it was an honor and a great pleasure to be around peers with such professionalism. Some were veterans to the stage and some were quite new, but we came together to build an great ensemble, to deliver a tale that was different from any other. For me this has been a wonderful experience, and I thank everyone who supported our show.


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