It's no secret that many schools districts are facing budget cuts, especially to the arts. Shannon Kantner takes us behind the scenes at Grand Ledge High School -- where they're singing a very different tune as the chandelier raised, jaws dropped.
But not just because of the theatrics of Phantom Of The Opera, the chandelier alone cost $15,000, with shipping, but also because of the cost of this production, totaling at least $80,000. By far the biggest budget to hit this stage looking at what other schools in the state have spent, I would say four or five other schools have done it before.
We kept our ticket prices right in line with theirs. The going rate for your average high school musical is about $10,000. And that's how much I was for help just to get the rights to the longest running musical on Broadway. But it cost the school district nothing. We are totally self funded. We don't get a penny from the school district, we're like club sport in that regard. It's all coming through fund raising and ticket sales. And when you put all that together, we're right about breaking even.
The whole school chipped in to pull off this performance. The drafting students made the staircase, and candelabras were made by the art classes.
Grand Ledge doesn't have a strings program, so the orchestra pit is filled with students from MSU and Okemos High School and that's adding another $10,000 to the total budget. You can catch the final performances Sunday at 2 and 7pm, and tickets prices range from $15 to $20.