We’re technically starting this week’s roundup with a story from last week, but it’s one we’d be remiss in not sharing.
As the Orange County Register reported, a University High School sophomore served by OCDE’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing program recently landed a plum role in a local production of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”
Joe Saraceni, 15, communicates primarily through American Sign Language. So his character, Tobias “Toby” Ragg, naturally did the same in performances of the Stephen Sondheim musical. Adding a creative twist to “Sweeney,” the directors used a separate actor as a vocal shadow to speak and sing next to Joe.
Dina Del Rey, board president for Broadway On Tour, told the newspaper that the theater company had been exploring ways to make its productions more inclusive. Joe won them over because “he was a great Toby,” she said.
A fan of musicals from an early age, Joe said he learned about the auditions through instagram.
“When I hear about a musical I want to audition for, I watch it, and if I really like it I just go for it,” he said.
And here are some other education news stories we’ve assembled:
OCDE will host a virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday with state Superintendent Tony Thurmond, who will discuss efforts to close the achievement gap in California. Local educators are invited to attend the interactive session.