Arts program refuses to give up on theater

Music Department Chair Mark Swope has been trying to get the tears in the curtains fixed for years.

Dellanira Alcauter

Music Department Chair Mark Swope has been trying to get the tears in the curtains fixed for years.

When walking into the theater one might not notice anything wrong. Everything seems to be functioning correctly.

As students sat in the theater for the sixth Annual Stagg Edu-Concert, they had to squeeze into their short and scarce seats.

According to choir teacher Mark Swope, this is not the only problem with the theater.

There are various malfunctions.

The electrical systems are out of date, the public address system is worn out, curtains are ripped, circuit boards for lighting and electricity are unusable, there is no audio equipment, and aisle steps are unsafe without lighting. In addition, the pianos in the piano lab are 20 years old.

Over the course of 11 years the theater has been put on hold for renovations.

“Every year they tell me they will do something but it just gets pushed on to the next year,” Swope said.

Originally the theater was supposed to be renovated along with the sports fields, but it was removed from the grant according to Swope.

Now the Stagg theater remains as the one of the oldest theaters in Stockton Unified. Although the theater has the most complications and malfunctions, it has been used for many purposes by the district.

The lack of equipment in the theater has caused the music department to use a trash can to hold a projector because they did not have the proper equipment.

Swope has tried many times to get help from the district for the theater but nothing has been done.

He does not plan on giving up on this issue.

He has written a letter to Superintendent Steve Lowder addressing the issues and hoping to get the theater in preparation for renovations.

“Every student deserves to perform in an up to date theater,” music instructor Joseph Updegraff said.

The ultimate goal for the renovation of the theater is to give students a decent theater.

 However, many years have passed, and nothing has been done.

 ”We don’t know what a good theater is because we have become so used to our theater,” Swope said.