Outsourcing Drama Education

High-school drama departments often are known for being creative—although not necessarily their hiring methods. But Providence High School, a Catholic institution in Burbank, California, recently attracted attention from the Los Angeles Times after it chose to hire two professional actors, rather than educators, to steer its struggling drama department.


A decline in enrollment meant the school couldn’t afford to fill the openings for a drama teacher and a choir teacher at the school. So, when faced with the seeming decision between cutting back the drama department or finding a way to pay two, full-time salaries (ranging from $50,000 to $55,000 a year, plus benefits) the school chose to do neither. It now contracts with Jeremy Kent Jackson (pictured right) and Dominic Catrambone, actors and co-owners of DiscoveryOnstage, a youth theater education program, for $25,000 a year.

The students, school administrators and actors are happy with the results—a strong, vibrant drama program worthy of the spotlight.

Kerry Weber

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
8 years 1 month ago
Providence High School has always been innovative in finding ways to serve the student body. It is excellent academically, has a strong campus ministry program, great sports teams and an atmosphere that always values the person. Congratulations to the current administration for carrying on the work of the Sisters of Providence.
We are proud to have five daughters who are Providence High School graduates.


Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Xavier High School students fill West 16th Street during the National School Walkout Day. (Credit: Shawna Gallagher Vega/Xavier High School)
Our student body generated dialogue around a topic that we did not all agree on.
Devin OnMarch 23, 2018
Protesters gather near the Manchester Central Fire Station in Manchester, N.H., Monday, March 19, 2018, where President Donald Trump madee an unscheduled visit. Trump is in New Hampshire to unveil more of his plan to combat the nation's opioid crisis. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
To suggest the use of the death penalty as a way to address the opioid epidemic ignores what we know already to be true: The death penalty is a flawed and broken tool in the practical pursuit of justice.
Karen CliftonMarch 23, 2018
(Images: Wikimedia Commons, iStock/Composite: America)
An angel whispered in my ear: “Fred, ‘Be not afraid.’”
Fred DaleyMarch 23, 2018
(photo: Music Box Films)
“Back to Burgundy” is about family tensions boiled up by both the financial and artistic challenges of the wine business.