LOS ANGELES - Though located in the heart of South Central Los Angeles, Washington Preparatory High School continues to prove itself as a school of integrity and worth. As their ensuing battle against outside charter organizations continues, the students are preparing for a Black History Month celebration that will speak volumes about their talent, dedication and motivation.
On Friday, February 25, the students will display the benefits of their esteemed theater program with the production of "Phenomenal Women," a play written by the drama director, Melanie Andrews, choreographed by DaTell and featuring the school's award winning choir directed by Rod Hines with a jazz band directed by Cory Hogan. Inspired by Maya Angelou's telling poem by the same name, "Phenomenal Women" will encourage the students, male and female alike, to new heights. The play will take place in the school's Dream Theatre at 7:00 p.m.
"It is crucial that our students, and particularly are young women, realize that they are indeed phenomenal," expressed Andrews. "Today's music videos and reality shows bombard them with such negative images which adversely impact their self esteem. Maya Angelou stated it best with the verse 'I don't shout or jump about; Or have to talk real loud, When you see me passing, It ought to make you proud.' I wrote the play with those lines in mind. Our young adults are in need of dynamic empowerment."
"Phenomenal Women" is just part of Washington Preparatory High School's new innovative arts program. On Friday, February 18, students at Washington Preparatory High School will also celebrate Black History Month and participate in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz' education program for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) public school students as part of a week-long "Jazz Across America" blues, jazz, and hip-hop national education tour sponsored by Northrop Grumman. The interactive assembly program will showcase a seven-piece combo led by multiple GRAMMY-Award winning blues artist Chris Thomas King, hip-hop recording artist MC Supernatural, renowned jazz saxophonist Walter Smith, and jazz vocalist Lisa Henry.
Lately, Washington Preparatory High School has come under scrutiny and in is danger of being taken over by outside charter organizations. In an effort to save the school, the teachers, alumni, parents and student held a held a town hall meeting recently and garnered major media attention for their efforts.
Notes Jacquie Augustus, Assistant Principal over Music Magnet and Performing Arts, "We are excited about the production of 'Phenomenal Women' as we celebrate Black History Month here at the school. We want everyone to know that our students are phenomenal indeed!"
In addition, the school's calendar of events for the year will feature several productions including "Fame" May 6 through 15, "Romeo & Juliet" on May 29 and Culminating Productions of Renaissance Choral Music, Renaissance Instrumental Music and Renaissance Dance, June 8, 9 & 10th.
Pictured from left to right Top Row: Tamaiah Pierce, Nena Dawson, Khadija Pious, Ashley Harris / Bottom Row: Von 'Niesha Harris, Nenia Samayo, Jontae Walchak
Photo Credit: Marques Owens, Washington Preparatory High School Digital Imagining Teacher