Students gain experiences hosting The Temptations

By Olivia Holland — Getting a perfect on the ACT? Anyone can do that. Scoring an 1800 on the SAT. No sweat. Finding someone to donate white terry cloth bath towels with black washcloths? Houston, I think we have a problem.

Students volunteering to help with The Temptations concert encountered many difficulties including food and room preparations, handling ticket sales and managing money. Through these obstacles, student volunteers were able to learn and solve real-life problems.

“My students are getting real world experience working with professionals like the Temptations,” drama teacher Carla Derr said. “I don’t know of any high school student in Ohio that can make that claim.”

On Oct. 11, the school hosted legendary Motown group The Temptations at the Abbey Foltz Stage in front of a sold out audience.

“I went and watched some of the concert and the audience was excited,” junior Patrick Johnson said. “The Temptations had every audience member, young and old, up on their feet.”

All those who accommodated The Temptations were student volunteers of the school’s drama department.

“We are trying to set a precedent that we are professional,” junior Elisabeth Molnar said. “We made sure that they were cared for. We have good services and we made sure they were comfortable while they were here.”

Each student was appointed a specific room and description as to how to take care of whoever is placed there. Individual assignments included food preparation, ticket sale management and cleaning the arts wing.

“We had to clean all of it,” junior Brandon Young said. “We also had to get local horn players. The Temptations brought their own, but we had to get our own reed instruments. They are professionals. I was their assistant band manager for the local horn player room (auxiliary room). Each of us was in charge of our own room.”

Students also learned valuable people and business skills. From talking to community members to handling any situation at hand, the drama students were prepped and prepared to deal with a variety of situations.

“It is definitely training for the real world when it comes to managing finances and having good people skills as well as learning to work smart, not necessarily hard,” junior Amanda Zerby said.

The Temptations is only the starting point as to what director Derr is planning to accomplish with the newly founded Plain Local Community Center for the Arts.

“The sky’s the limit,” Derr said. “We will eventually have a speaker series, a classical music series, and a stadium show that will rival Blossom Music Center. Here is the bottom line – what other venue in Ohio has free parking, a library, a stat care, a park for a picnic beforehand, meeting rooms for a group to meet, in-house catering and an array of restaurants like Plain Local Community Center for the Arts? We have restaurants ranging from fast food to Gervasi.”

The first production of the community center for the arts, The Temptations concert, was put together by Derr and her student volunteers like one that would be put on by Blossom Music Center.

“It was a night for Plain Local to shine,” Derr said. “Brent May and Mike Labriola’s vision was accomplished.”

On the night of the performance the Black Box was transformed to a posh VIP area, with high tables adorned with black and white decorated centers atop white tablecloths. When The Temptations arrived, people of all ages lined up to meet and take a picture with them.

Seeing all we accomplished have a feeling of satisfaction like few other things,” junior Grant Schroeder said. “Our response as a group was one of satisfaction and relief that all went well.

As well as the ticket holders, the crew was also excited to see The Temptations.

“The reactions of people backstage were great, everyone was kind, patient, and in a good mood,” Schroeder said. “We, as a crew, reacted with both satisfaction and pleasure after seeing what we did pay off in a great way.”

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]