** Drama High by Michael Sokolove


Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater is, at its core, the portrait of a great teacher, Lou Volpe, and his ability not only to stage memorable performances that attracted audiences way beyond Levittown, PA (yes, that Levittown), but also to inspire students for the long-term. Most of the book describes the staging, rehearsals, and performances of plays and musicals during an entire school year, which include many moving stories of teenagers and many examples of hows great teacher can shape lives way beyond telling an actor where to stand or how to deliver lines.

The chapters in which the author describes the history of Levittown are less successful (see Levittown instead), as is the chapter-length rant against standardized testing (and by the way, if standardized testing is so evil, why does the author bemoan the low SAT scores of current students at the Levittown high school?).

 

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