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Parent Creates Documentary-Based Play Based on School Funding Crisis

Parent Creates Documentary-Based Play Based On Funding Crisis

A parent and writer frustrated with the Philadelphia budget crisis has used over a hundred interviews with students, parents, educators, and politicians to create the innocuously-named "School Play." Those involved with the play aim to add to the conversation about the consistent problems funding education in the city.

As the budget crisis in Philadelphia continues on, Arden Kass said she realized the severity of the matter "when she heard that her son would be learning Spanish from Rosetta Stone," according to an article on

"So, she said, 'I got the idea that the only way to make people understand what this is all about is theater. Nothing else moves people in such an intellectual and emotional way.'"

The play runs about 70 minutes and is distilled from over 200 hours worth of material, according to the article. Kass used over a hundred interviews drawing from 30 different affected communities.

"A cast of five professional actors would play 35 roles, transitioning from student to parent to Education Secretary with a few strides across the stage," the article said.

Kass wants to encourage members of the large community to widen the conversation by getting involved in sharing the play. "Anyone who wants to pick it up could perform a scene, a 20-minute mini-play, or the entire work. 'Do it in your church, your library, the parking lot outside Walmart!' Kass said."

For this reason, the script will be made available after the play's two performances so that others in the community can "interpret it on their own."

Read the full story here and comment below. Learn more about the play at

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

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