WASHINGTON—Examining data obtained from thousands of reportedly lackluster rehearsals across the country, a new study released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Education concluded that a mere 30 percent of students are adequately prepared for the spring musical. “Our analysis found that, with tech week right around the corner, less than a third of leads in American public schools have their lines off-book, their scene blocking down pat, or their solos anywhere close to performance-ready,” said department spokesperson Larry Tan, who noted that a scant 26 percent of high school cast members can land their kick-ball-changes, while just 15 percent are able to complete proper box steps, bell kicks, or pivot turns. “Despite the best efforts of educators, most lighting techs have not yet learned their cues, only a fraction of crews are finished with the main set pieces, and nearly every pit orchestra in the nation is still rushing the opening number. The majority of students have been practicing since February, but based on the frankly embarrassing dress rehearsals our researchers witnessed, you could be forgiven for thinking auditions were just a week or two ago.” Tan went on to say that unless schools make significant improvements soon, the nation’s youth will be vastly underprepared for a life in community theater.

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