'Drama High': 7 stories from behind the scenes of a life-changing drama program

Here are seven stories from "Drama High," Michael Sokolove's book about the award-winning theatrical program at Harry S Truman High School.

6. Trust from staff

Brian Snyder/Reuters
The Who members Roger Daltrey (l.) and Pete Townshend (r.) perform in 2010

After directing the drama program so successfully for so long, Sokolove says Volpe earned a certain amount of forgiveness from parents or staff who might find something offensive in one of his productions. Volpe remembered staging "The Who's Tommy" in 1997 and watching the school board president leave the auditorium after the first act. "I thought, Oh my God, there goes my job," he said. The school board president sent him a letter saying that she valued his work but was shocked by how the show, in her view, glorified drug use. Volpe told her he thought the second act – which she missed by leaving – showed the cost of it. "I thought, What a shame," Volpe said. "She missed the whole point."

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