By RJ Townsend
And Then There Were None. That was it, the last play at Delta High School.
Many didn’t know of what was to come for the theater class. What was taking place in the next school year stunted plans for many of the students. The upcoming students of not only theater, but also choir, were impacted by a renovation project taking place in the auditorium.
The theater class might not have known that their play, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, back in early May 2022 was the last for the entire year to come.
Through the duration of this school year there will be a renovation taking place inside of the school. The auditorium will be undergoing improvements for an unknown amount of time. There is no way of telling if there will be a show from the theater class this year.
The auditorium has been the same for more than 20 years. The last renovation to happen was the addition of walls building it into a separate room from the open concept school.
“The actual ‘project’ for the auditorium is actually two separate projects,” said Tyce Stebbins, project manager and director of buildings and grounds for Delaware Community Schools.
This latest renovation includes two major changes. The first is that the ceiling is going to be taken out in preparation for putting in new lights as well as making the catwalk safer. The next step is putting in a new sound system. These changes won’t be very visible to the average Deltonian, but to the students that are in the auditorium it’s going to change for the better.
The sound system is not just for the audience but for the students working the sound board. The new system is going to be the same as Ball State University’s system at Emens Auditorium.
Mrs. Dawn Raleigh teaches the theater class and is the director for the Delta Troupers, who perform plays for the school. She hopes the current renovation does not eliminate all opportunities for her students this school year.
“At this point I do not have an answer as to whether we will be able to perform a show during the school year.” she said. “If we cannot, we still want to do something.”
Raleigh is holding onto hope that they can still perform this year. whether that will be in the new auditorium or in a different location.
Josh Hearn and Heath Sprague, theater seniors, see the silver lining in the mist. They both have been a part of Delta Troupers since sophomore year.
“It’s nice to be able to work during the week,” Hearn said. “When we had shows I didn’t have this much free time.”
“I have a wrestling season, so I’m occupied that way.” Sprauge points out.
Megan Boyle, a choir junior, has a different experience. She along with other students had to spend the first choir concert of the year singing in the gym due to the renovation.
“I want to sing in the auditorium,” she said. “The gym echos which makes it very hard to hear.”
The pleas of the students involve more than wanting to be in the auditorium for shows. The theater students have moved to the choir room for practice.
The auditorium projects have a window of time to complete. However, the time frame is not reliable for any planning for choir, theater, and many other clubs that use the auditorium.
Principal Chris Conley says that the project has been spoken about and on the school board’s to-do list for the past five years. This renovation started on Oct. 7, but then was pushed back and delayed later in the month. The expected date for the renovation to be completed is not known.
Until then theater, choir, freshmen mentors, and other groups must find new places to meet.