Notes from the Director: FAME – The Musical

A little something from our director of FAME – The Musical: Kate Horvath.

Photo: Jeanie Peterson

Photo: Jeanie Peterson

FAME is the original High School Musical, but it doesn’t shy away from the real life pressures facing teens in the modern age. FAME places the struggles of youth culture on a collision course with the established institution front and center while retaining the heart of an after school special. Based on the real performing arts school and actual events that produced stars such as Jennifer Aniston, Adrien Brody, and Liza Minelli – FAME illuminates the “truth or consequences” of first love, explores gender identity, and tackles racism, learning disabilities, and substance abuse. As we navigate four years of high school through the eyes of the students, we see them grow, change, and experience heartbreaking loss for the first time.

Our production of FAME is a memory play; in each scene the memory perspective shifts … this allows us to ask some big questions. Where does time soften the edges and color the moments? What memories live in our hearts after some of the details are lost to time? All of this heart, along with a rocking pop score, explosive dance, plus a hot band … there is no better way to spend the winter making memories at the Playhouse!

Our students have something in common with the characters in FAME; each is a unique individual discovering and pursuing their goals. They have earned this moment in the spotlight and never shy away from the “hard work” necessary to achieve their dreams. I am so proud of them and their sense of commitment and community. A strong work ethic is the first lesson of theatre, and as we send students off this year (and every season) to bright futures, they leave our “house.” I can only wonder how time will frame the lens of their memories at the Playhouse. Many students on the stage have spent more than a decade in our Children’s Theatre classrooms and rehearsals. Each and every student I have had the “privilege to teach” will “live forever” in my heart. Thank you for supporting them, and the work we do here with the Playhouse Children’s Theatre. “Bring on Tomorrow!”

Photo by Todd Higgins (

Photo by Todd Higgins (

Catch the final closing performance!

When: Today (March 20) at 2:00pm
Where: The Duluth Playhouse main stage (506 W. Michigan St.)
Tickets: Available online at or by calling 218.733.755 or at the door an hour before the show begins
Prices: Adults – $17 | Youth/Students – $14 | Groups (!5+) – $12

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