Arts & Culture Maplewood Opinion Schools / Kids South Orange Towns

Letter to the Editor: CHS Ragtime Production Was ‘Awe-Inspiring’

To the Editor:

My family and I were lucky enough to catch the final performance of Ragtime at Columbia High School on Sunday.

If you didn’t see it, you missed incredible voices, compelling acting and flawless production. If you did see it, you know exactly what I mean by feeling lucky to have experienced it.

The production was extraordinary not simply because of the extreme talent of the students, parents and staff who executed it but because it is a tough show which not many high schools could — or would — attempt to produce.  Ragtime deals with big, tough, raw issues like race, class, justice and what it means to be an American.  That a group of young people could so completely become the disenfranchised and proud blacks, privileged and conflicted whites and downtrodden and resilient immigrants of the early 20th Century is simply awe-inspiring.  How lucky we are to live in a community that is willing and able to create such a work of art.

I hope those of us who experienced Ragtime will continue to support the arts in our schools as they are just as important and potentially life-changing as a great classroom teacher, a champion sports team and lifelong friendships.

Matt Glass
South Orange

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