THS Celebrates 34th Year of Muse Machine
Tecumseh High School is celebrating its 34th year with Muse Machine, an arts organization that began in 1982 to use teachers as a conduit to reach students and connect them with the arts.
Muse Machine Advisors Julie Davis and Lisa Moon at the high school and Jana Flory at the middle school work to bring professional arts performances into the school throughout the school year. Our 2016-17 schedule has included the Black Box Improv Theater in October with “Madness Behind the Method” that focuses on active listening, teamwork, and creativity. In November, we welcomed an actor from the Human Race Theatre Company for “Shuffle Off This Mortal Coil,” who comedically shared the many deaths from Shakespeare’s plays. January brought us three musicians from the Dayton Philharmonic along with a ballet dancer to explore how dance and music styles have changed through time with “500 Years of Dance Music in 40 Minutes.”
In February, we will host David Sherman with his presentation of “The Magic of Movies,” as he conveys cinematography, special effects, and editing that combine to create one of the most popular art forms of all - the movies! Our final in-school performance will be in March with “Dueling Divas-A Singing Showdown” featuring four young opera singers who will “claw, fight, and sing their way to the top of America’s most popular game show, Dueling Divas!” This will feature some of the best-loved music from opera and musical theater.
Over the years, Muse Machine students have attended performances at the Schuster Center, Victoria Theatre, Human Race Theatre, Sinclair’s Blair Hall, and Wright State’s Creative Art Center. This year, students have been to see the Dayton Ballet’s Dracula: Bloodlines and Sinclair’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. We have a trip for Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Sinclair in February and 9 to 5 in March at Wright State. We had a full bus for Muse Machine’s student musical Hairspray at the Victoria, featuring 170 student performers from throughout the Miami Valley.
Tecumseh High School is very proud of Austin Diehl, Noah Berner, Rebecca Helt, and Zackary Nabil who graced the stage for five sold-out performances that ran from January 12-15, enduring rehearsals that ran for three months at sometimes 6-7 days a week. Director Joe Deere said the students created an explosive energy on the stage, and Hairspray was their largest and most diverse cast ever. When 4th year performer Austin Diehl was asked if he was glad it was over, he was hesitant, saying, “I don’t know. It was a lot of work, but it was a fun kind of work. I miss it.” You can go to musemachine.com, click “Musical and Concert,” then click on “Watch Video: Hairspray Promo” and you’ll see our very own Austin Diehl as the drummer.
The current Muse Machine Club has ninety members, and we welcome all students who would like to participate in the arts, even those who just enjoy a comfortable seat and like watching the performances, and we welcome those who would like to actively participate in our Open Mic at the high school on February 16th. Muse Machine also sponsors the Tecumseh Has Talent Show in April. We also invite students who would like to come to our showing of The Man from Snowy River in the high school auditorium on Thursday, February 9th, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
We are thankful for a grant from the Ohio Arts Council that provides the funds to provide buses to our out-of-school performances, and we have received confirmation that the Springfield Foundation is providing a grant that will help toward our in-school performance cost.
We’re proud of a number of former students who have gone to college to study theater or music, and a few have even found success in theater, film, dance companies, Disney,and television. We are so grateful to continue the Muse Machine tradition at Tecumseh Schools.
By Julie Davis
Muse Machine Advisor