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Film Airs on WHYY December 26 Featuring Penn Alexander School

December 21, 2010, Volume 57, No. 16

Penn Alexander: A Safe Place to Play, a film produced by Penn GSE Films, will air on WHYY’s arts channel this month.

The film takes a behind-the-scenes look at a production of Fiddler on the Roof Jr. featuring students from the Penn Alexander School.

A Safe Place to Play follows the production from after-school rehearsals right through opening night. The 22-minute film depicts the backstage drama of young actors mastering their roles—and even includes the classic story of the understudy who has to step in when one of the featured players ends up on crutches. 

As Mike Lowe, the director (and kindergarten teacher), explains, “Part of it is convincing them that they can do it—and they can do it.” 

The film’s director, Amit Das, conducts interviews with just about everyone involved in the production with insider’s views from Mr. Lowe, Connor King (Tevye), Noor Jemy (the last-minute replacement for Bielke), Sadie Peterson (Hodel), Fiona Crane (Shprintze), Sarah Neukrug (Golde), parent Ben Adams (technical director), and many others.

The School is a state-of-the-art university-assisted preK–8 neighborhood public school created by the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers in 1998.

Penn Alexander: A Safe Place to Play will air on December 26 at 8 p.m. on WHYY’s YArts channel (Comcast 257, FiOS 474).


Almanac - December 21, 2010, Volume 57, No. 16