For the past 16 years, Rob Chalmers, the head of the drama department at Chippewa Valley High School, has given his blood, sweat and tears to make his department #1 in the region. Determined to win best musical in the state of Kansas, Rob announces his fall production, Seussical, casting a talented newcomer, David, and a local favorite, Greg Barnes. Rob even fights for a massive state grant to build a new auditorium, and he gets it. Rob's team rallies around him, and the riotous process of putting on a high-school musical ensues. Elise, the math teacher and Rob's best friend, sacrifices date after date with her new boyfriend to turn last year's Anatevka into this year's Whoville. Gerald, the underpaid and overwhelmed music teacher, is determined to use some of the new grant money to build his orchestra. Even Sarah, the most popular girl at school, comes out for the show, and school spirit is soaring! All goes well until the president of the school board, Mr. Barnes, finds out his son Greg isn't the lead. Barnes bullies the new principal into recasting. Stuart, desperate to hang onto his job as principal, tries to coerce Rob into changing the casting. When Rob, Elise and Gerald balk at Stuart's attempt to thwart their production, he is forced to use dubious means. Rumors spread online and in high-school blogs about David and, worse, about David and Rob. Even Sarah's new friendship with David is questioned. Here begins a battle of wills. What starts as a funny and innocent look at high-school culture, reminiscent of Waiting for Guffman, becomes a compelling examination of the relentless and unconscious pressure we all use to get what we want. This poignant and gripping dramatic comedy serves as a reminder of how innocent gossip and social media can irrevocably change our lives. The Drama Department is based on a true story.
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