Poplar Pike Playhouse
The Poplar Pike Playhouse at Germantown High School presents a full season of theatrical productions in its 300 seat on-campus theatre facility. Since its inception in 1976, the Playhouse has provided more than 100 theatrical shows viewed by over 300,000 people in its nearly 40 year history. The yearly roster of events includes two mainstage shows, several acting festivals, a touring children's theatre company and additional small ensemble presentations. Students not only perform on the stage, but they also are responsible for every element of the theatre operation, including the technical as well as the business side of the program. The theatre has state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment and a business office that is computer-assisted and staffed year round by student volunteers.
Poplar Pike Playhouse performers who have gone on into professional careers include Saturday Night Live star Chris Parnell; Broadway actor Wes Day (Blue Man Group); film actress Missi Pyle (The Artist, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Galaxy Quest); TNT Documentarian David Bryant (The Secret and Mysteries of Animal Farm); promotions producer Jim Barrett (West Wing, ER); Emmy award winning casting director Scott Genkinger (Desperate Housewives, NYPD Blue); National Public Radio national correspondent Debbie Elliot; and Hollywood producer Martin Cutler (Eight Days A Week).
The Department of Creative & Performing Arts has received national and international recognition for its superior work in the field of dramatic arts training. The theatre program offers four years of comprehensive, sequential arts classes that include training in all phases of theatre, history, performance, and aesthetics. The theatre and communication arts faculty is composed of highly trained individuals who not only have excellent teaching credentials, but also have a variety of professional acting, playwrighting, film, and television credits.
There are two active speech and theatre honor organizations on the GHS campus: the International Thespian Society, and the National Forensic League. Students may earn membership in both groups. Additional services, enhancements, and financial support is provided by the Poplar Pike Arts Guild. The mission of this parent and community organization is to serve the needs of the entire GHS fine arts program.
A special feature of the department is the three million dollar cable television studio, located on the school campus. Students are actively involved in producing and directing the activities of their own local access station, GHS-TV. Over 400 hours of programming are cablecast monthly from this facility to the entire community.
Additionally, the music and visual art components of the Fine Arts Department work in close coordination with the theatre arts faculty to help support both the curricular and co-curricular aspects of the program. Interdisciplinary course work and after-school enrichment opportunities are planned as part of each year's syllabus in all classes.