Bringing the arts back to Philadelphia Public Schools with DREAMGIRLS at SPHS

IMG_2300South Philadelphia High School and Curtis ArtistYear present Dreamgirls the Musical, May 19 and 20, 2016. Featuring students from South Philly High School’s new music program with support from the Public Citizens for Children’s Picasso Project + Youth and the Curtis Institute of Music’s ArtistYear Fellowship Program. Pay what you wish, available at the door at South Philadelphia High School Auditorium, 2101 S. Broad Street, or online at

South Philadelphia High School, in collaboration with the Curtis Institute of Music’s ArtistYear program, presents Dreamgirls, the musical, on May 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. at South Philadelphia High School’s own 1400-seat historic auditorium located at 2101 S. Broad St. An additional invite-only student final dress performance will occur for local middle school students on May 18 at 10 a.m.

Steeped with non-stop high energy singing and dancing, the production showcases some of South Philadelphia High School’s finest talent, and provides students with an opportunity unlike any they have had at the school in over a decade. Currently in its inaugural year, South Philly High School’s brand new music program heralds back to the rich musical traditions of graduates including Mario Lanza, Chubby Checker, and Marian Anderson, and aims to regain momentum and stability for the future through this dynamic production.

The musical tells the story of the time in American history when rhythm and blues gave birth to a distinct new musical sound and follows the lives of a young singing trio, “The Dreams” on their path to stardom. The musical, rekindled fame due to the the film starring Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer Hudson, chronicles the ups and downs of the music industry from an inside perspective.

Made possible through a grant from PCCY’s Picasso Project, this production of Dreamgirls is directed by ArtistYear Fellow Alize Rozsnyai, a recent graduate of the opera program at Curtis. The production is co-mounted and conducted by South Philly High’s music teacher Louis Russo, and the production team also includes current University of the Arts students Sara Marinich, production designer and stage manager; and Nicholas Wainwright, music director. Dreamgirls will be accompanied by a band comprised of members of the Rendezvous Brass Quintet from the Curtis Institute of Music and other professional musicians.

When asked one word to describe the student’s experience on the project, they replied: “wonderful, inspirational, awesome” and perhaps most importantly, “fun”.

Advance reservations can be made at, and pay-what-you-wish tickets will be available at the door, with hopes that the revenues will speak to the community’s support and recognized need to keep music and theatre alive and thriving at South Philadelphia High School in the future. 

One Reply to “Bringing the arts back to Philadelphia Public Schools with DREAMGIRLS at SPHS”
  1. So glad you reviewed this wonderful project. The Curtis Institute and Mary Javian in particular deserve a lot of credit for sending their graduates on residences in public schools and the music staff at South Philadelphia High School have also fought to keep music in their school. Bravo to all involved, especially the Brass Project.

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