Entertainment » Movies

Most Valuable Players

by Steven Bergman
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Mar 30, 2012
Most Valuable Players

Arts vs. Athletics. In the world of public education, the struggle for the precious funding needed to sustain these programs has been an ongoing source of tension between students, teachers, parents, and school administrators. Therefore, it seems only appropriate that a film that celebrates the excellence that can be achieved in high school theater programs takes its name from the sports world. Virgil Films & Entertainment, in conjunction with the Oprah Winfrey Network have released "Most Valuable Players," a high-spirited, yet topical and poignant look at one school district in Pennsylvania that has created an atmosphere of appreciation and investment in the theater, culminating in not only quality performances of many high school productions, but also in a district-wide awards program that recognizes the achievements of these productions, modeled after the Tony Awards.

The thrust of the film is twofold. From one perspective, three theater troupes are followed on their respective journeys from initial audition and rehearsals through their engaging performances, followed by their nominations in the "Freddy" Awards, and the anticipation and culmination of their representation at the awards. The other part of the film looks at the past history and present assemblage of the "Freddys," named for the ghost who supposedly occupies the hosting venue, from the woman who had the vision to create this event that would recognize excellence in high school theater in the area, to the community members who give all their efforts to making this evening a popular and pertinent production of their own creation.

As the film mostly features high school students, the special features include a Reunion Show, three years after the making of the film; commentary by filmmaker Christopher Lockhart, and a tribute to one of the award's most ardent supporters, who finds out during the film that he has cancer. The film is about the kids, but this sidebar adds an extra slice of humanity to the film that doesn't detract.

Most Valuable Players
Virgil Films & Entertainment, in conjunction with the Oprah Winfrey Network

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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