New Curtains for the Auditorium

Worn-out Curtains Are Finally Being Replaced


Bethany Straus

Just about anyone who participates in the performing arts here at Urbana will tell you that the stage curtains in the auditorium are in bad shape. With multiple rips, tears, and other problems, the curtains desperately need to be replaced.

According to Mary Lennon, drama teacher and director of school productions here at Urbana, we have had our current curtain “since the school opened about twenty years ago.”

“It is not even something specific that happened [to the curtains]; it has just been used so often. We have a lot of outside groups and inside groups that use [the auditorium], so the constant use over the span of twenty years wore [the curtains] out.”

There are multiple stage curtains in the auditorium, all of which either need to be repaired or replaced. According to Lennon, “the middle curtain is ripped entirely; the one in the back is ripped and the front curtains get stuck, so [all of the curtains] have problems.”

Using the damaged curtains tends to be a difficult task because the slightest mistake in handling them can cause major damage. “Sometimes we just have to not use [the curtains]; other times we just have to be very careful,” said Lennon.

It is hard to say how much a new set of curtains would cost, but the average cost for a set of curtains for a high school auditorium – including measuring, layout design, and installation – is nearly $50,000.

According to Lennon, “it is Urbana High School’s year to receive extra funding for school repairs from the Frederick County Public Schools administrators.”

Lennon also added that “since the economy and budget cuts are still a problem, I am not sure how it will work out with receiving funding for a new curtain, but I am still hopeful that we will be able to have the curtains replaced.”

According to Lennon, the school and county administrators are “going to change the color of the curtains [so that they will match] the school’s color. The [current curtains] are the color that was originally supposed to be the school’s color [before it was changed], so they are pretty excited to have a curtain that will match the school’s colors.”  The new curtains will either be blue or silver.

Before receiving word that FCPS would pay for the new curtain, fund raising efforts were being made to raise the money for the new curtains. According to Suzanne Buxbaum, orchestra instructor here at Urbana, the fine arts department was–and still is–raising money by “selling F-Winger t-shirts.”

“We still sell [the t-shirts] and will use the money to pay for other repairs if the county will be able to pay for the new curtain,” said Buxbaum. “We have not made a whole lot of money off of the t-shirts yet, but the money that we do make is saved so that the five teachers [of the fine arts department] can decide together how to spend the money.”