RAHWAY — Recently, New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, as part of its 2011 Rising Star Awards, gave the 2011 Educational Impact Award to Rahway High School. Above, director, Alison Dooley, shows the beautiful Tiffany plate given as the prize along with $500 to acknowledge a school that successfully connects their musical to the district’s curriculum, using the production as a teaching tool for the greater student body and local community. Rahway students produced West Side Story, a play about gangs in New York City in the 1950s. Classes in the school as well as organizations in the community studied the issue of gangs at the same time as the play was being staged. Rahway’s diverse school population allowed for authentic Latin casting of the Sharks and a sincere understanding of the triumph of spirit over the obstacles often faced by immigrants. (Photo courtesy of Rahway Public Schools)
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