Many Manchester High alumni may log onto this website having been students in the theatre program when it was called the Triptych Players. When I arrived in 1999, Manchester (High) Drama (Department) was the name appearing at the top of most of the show posters. I ran across one poster with Triptych Players at the top and inquired as to the significance of the name. The only information that I was able to gather was that the extracurricular body of the theatre program was once called the Triptych Players but no one could tell me about its history or traditions. I did not want to stamp out the history of the program, I wanted to brand it.
I wanted to come up with a name that embodied the sense of professionalism that I had begun to instill into the students that made up this extracurricular branch. My previous experiences led me to believe that if I could make Theatre Company stick, it would separate the program from the high school environment and give the students a sense of membership in a more professional organization rather than a club. I also wanted to establish it as part of Manchester High School. My students and I came up with The Lancer Theatre Company. It was perfect. It sounded professional yet maintained its connection to the school; however, the community would not recognize this name on posters and road signs.
For about 3 years we painstakingly painted the long form of the name, Manchester High School’s Lancer Theatre Company, on every sign. Having established the name, LANCER THEATRE COMPANY, we still place Manchester High on the road signs so that the general public will know where to see the performance.
Some traditions never die. Like the students that I teach, I too am a traditionalist. Sometime long before I arrived at Manchester, a ceramic armadillo made an appearance in every show. Loving the idea, I have continued to foster this little fellow’s illustrious career. If you attend any of our shows, look for him! He is always in plain view without upstaging the action. A few years ago, he was inducted into our International Thespian Society troupe. Sadly, he has never been given a proper name. If you have ideas, please send them to me or to anyone associated with the program.
Each Season we open with a production in December followed by an evening of student-directed one act plays in late January or early February and we close with a full length musical in the spring. Each production runs for 3 consecutive nights (Thursday-Saturday) unless otherwise listed.