Friday, June 17, 2011

Lacheys Drop Plans For SCPA


Entertainment professionals Drew and Lea Lachey have dropped plans to revive a musical theater program at their alma mater, the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Over-the-Rhine The SCPA, which auditioned 26 students for the program in March, still plans to move forward with reinstating the curriculum at the acclaimed Cincinnati Public School.

They’ll look to other music theater professionals and other funding sources to make it work.

“I’m very disappointed that he’s not going to be able to work with us this year, but at least he got the school talking about bringing musical theater back,” said Gina Kleesattel, the SCPA faculty member who will head the program.

Drew Lachey said he realized the proposal wouldn’t work because “the school and my team didn’t agree on our role in the program,” he said. “We wanted to have more of a hands-on role and the way it’s set up now through regulations ... they couldn’t allow it.”

Drew wouldn’t have been able to teach the class because he’s not a licensed teacher. State and federal accountability standards and curriculum guidelines also restricted what he could do.

“The whole school system ... was very different from when Drew was in school,” Kleesattel said. “It’s very complicated and I just think he felt like he couldn’t do what he wanted to do.”

Lachey said he still hopes to help the school out, but “the way we’d initially envisioned the program wouldn’t work. It’s an unfortunate situation but we are looking forward to getting back into the school and finding a way to help the school in the future.”

He said the decision had nothing to do with the school putting the brakes on his side-proposal for a reality show about the Lacheys’ life in Cincinnati and their work with the school.

“In his proposal to the district, the Lacheys had called the show a reality version of “Glee,” a musical TV series that airs on Fox.

The school’s governing committee was cautious because of problems with “Taking the Stage,” a previous MTV reality show at the school. At a May meeting, Lachey and his wife Lea had allayed most of the committee’s concerns. But the group still decided to delay the reality show indefinitely. The school is also in the midst of search for a new principal and some in the group thought a reality show would be adding too much too fast.

Lachey was adamant at the May meeting that he would remain committed to the musical theater program regardless of whether the school approved the reality show.

On Tuesday he re-iterated that his decision was unrelated to the school’s decision on the reality show.

He said he and Lea are open to opportunities to work with other school districts, but that no solid plans are in the works.

“We’re always looking for different opportunities to give back,” he said. “It was a good fit here, but we aren’t looking solely at SCPA. There are talented kids all over the city.”