After a plethora of comments on social media about the upcoming McClain musical production, and visits, phone calls and emails to school officials this week by Times-Gazette staff, the school released a statement Thursday evening.
The statement from Superintendent Quincey Gray said: “During the week of January 27, the District became aware of things that occurred prior to, during, and following callback auditions for our spring musical that did not ensure fairness to all students. For those reasons, we made the decision to hold a second round of callbacks. If you have any questions or concerns about our audition processes, please contact me directly. I would appreciate the opportunity to answer questions from any community member to ensure that everyone receives accurate information.
“Our students are preparing for an outstanding production! We would love to see our community fill the auditorium in support of them and their hard work. We will communicate additional information about the production as soon as possible. Again, we look forward to having our community attend and support the talented and hard-working students of McClain High School.”
For a few days school officials declined to speak to The Times-Gazette. But on Friday, Gray and Greenfield School Board President Charley Roman jointly called the newspaper.
They said they were standing by their statement, and still declined to answer most questions. But they did shed a little more light on the situation.
They said there had been three rounds of auditions for the musical — the original auditions that Gray said probably involved 40-some students, then two rounds of call backs.
Gray, and former students who have been cast members in McClain musicals, said it is not unusual to have more than one round of auditions.
Gray and Roman said “The Sound of Music” will be the production, but that an exact date for its presentation has not been determined.
“We’re working with the director of the musical, and we may be looking at moving the date back a bit,” Gray said. “That’s not atypical. We move dates for lots of reasons. We just want to make sure we give the kids enough time to prepare.”
When The Times-Gazette posed another question, Gray said, “The statement is pretty much where we are.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.