Terça-feira, 22/5/2018 | : : UTC-4
The Reflection

Gull Lake’s stage quality restricts student opportunity to flourish in performing arts

Gull Lake Performing Arts Company putting on the Gift during winter of 2016. The students make the best possible use out of the space. Photo by Regan Tustin

Gull Lake High School’s Performing Arts Company and other various groups in the Gull Lake district perform on the middle school stage. The older stage and limited space restricts these groups in size of production as well as attendance. With no auditorium, this becomes more than an inconvenience and sets back performing arts students compared to the schools in other districts.

Many in the district use the stage located in the middle school cafeteria for events although some band concerts are held in the school gyms.

“The thing about the middle school stage is that everyone from first grade right on through to senior year uses it,” said GLHS PAC alumni Kirsten Sluyter. “We use it for youth programs, such as the musicals our elementary school students put on, talent shows, events and as the home base for GLHS PAC, where its members’ names have been painted for decades.”

The supplies and technical equipment at the middle school are outdated, such as light boards and sound equipment that haven’t been updated in over 10 years. Although students and teachers work to best utilize the materials available, these limit and put Gull Lake at a disadvantage compared to other districts.  

“The students are nowhere near close to up-to-date with the technology their peers from other districts may have access to, and they may not continue to study their art or to do it elsewhere,” Sluyter said.

“The biggest struggle PAC faces working on this stage would be best summed up if we compared it to sports,” said Performing Arts teacher Jonathan  Kind. “If we gave our basketball team partially inflated balls and a toddlers’ Playskool rim to practice on, how well would they do against other teams?”

While costuming and equipment may be viewed as minor problems, the major problem rests in the stage and production area itself–its age and use.

Among the many disadvantages performing in a middle school cafeteria brings, there are some safety concerns: the stage curtains that are in need of fireproofing, water damage to the ceiling and loose boards on the stage.


The stage also provides an insignificant amount of space in the wings backstage and lacks room to allow to students to prepare before a show.

“The students and instructors do their best to produce the best possible works that they can, but with a stage and equipment that are in desperate need of help, that job only becomes more tedious and lessens its visual appeal,” Sluyter said.

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Courtney Pedersen

My name is Courtney Pedersen and I'm a senior. For the Reflection I primarily write news and feature stories. I am the news and media editor. I also am heavily involved in TAB, PAC, Spanish Club and the literary magazine.


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Address: Gull Lake High School, 7753 N. 34th Street, Richland, MI 49083



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