||My name is Dayle Gilbert. I am 17 years old and I go to Mountain View High School in Loveland, CO. We are an arts magnet school with the LISA (Loveland Integrated School of the Arts) program, and a nationally recognized theater program. Our shows continue to be fantastic, and we have set an extremely high bar for the quality of our shows. With shows like Miss Saigon, Side Show, Children of Eden, Christmas Carol, and A Midsummer Nights Dream under our belt we love a challenge and we always succeed. This year we did the play A Christmas Carol, and it was fantastic! With flying ghosts, electronic moving set pieces, and a 10 ft tall "ghost of Christmas future" puppet, we had a lot of things most high schools would never have in their theater. We did a musical in the spring called Side Show. The show failed on Broadway, and is rarely attempted in theaters, let alone high schools, because it is so difficult and hard to understand. We took this show as a challenge. We had a choreographer from New York (Tammy Ellis Johnson), come to our school and do this show, along with our schools show choir, and make it amazing. We spent a lot of time and money, even into our weekends, our summer, and sometimes over nights, to make this show happen. We touched the lives of a lot of people in our community with our anti-bullying/ fitting in with disabilities theme. Our cast members went around school for two weeks in their costumes and characters as "freaks" in the side show. Our fat woman (myself), Lizard man (Owen Whitham), our Bearded Lady (Savannah Morgen), and our two sets of Siamese twins (Katie Burrmaster and Tessa McQueen, Taylor Lang Niqui Mickelson), all in costume and connected together went to all of their classes and lunch hours as their character. We suffered a lot of comments, pushing, and bullying. We stood together and helped each other out every day. We are truly a family in our theater program. We are comfortable with everyone there, and we understand and accept everyone. Our directors have given up so much to give us what we have. Every year we spend twice as much money than any other school does on what we have, our costumes, our sets, and our tech supplies. They do everything they can do give us the best at all times. They spend hours upon hours at the school with us, giving up their own time with their families to be with us. Phil Forman, our director of the musicals and choirs, is married and spends entire nights at school, from 7 am to sometimes 7 am the next morning working on our sets and our lights. Karla Quinones is not only married, but she has a beautiful son, Lorenzo. Although it breaks her heart to be away from him as often as she is, she just wants to see our program continue to grow and be amazing so that when he grows up, he will understand why she could not be there all the time. Some of our cast and crew members, including myself, consider these two people their parents. I went through a really hard time my freshman year when a close friend of mine committed suicide. I fight with my parents a lot, and at that time I was not very close with my younger brother. I suffered in school, and it was hard for me to be happy. I met these two people at the beginning of my sophomore year, and I honestly believe, without them, I would not be alive today. I would not be where I am today. I would not be competing nationally as a performer. I would not be doing well in school. I would not have the relationship I do with my parents and my brother, if they had not been there the entire way to hold my hand and to show me that everything is going to be okay. I love these people, and I love this theater. We lost a lot of money this year due to an unnecessary "snow day" and ended this show season $10,000 in the hole. We were planning on doing the play Wizard of Oz and the musical Shrek! next year. Because of our financial issues, we no not have the money to break even, or to start the next show. This will be my senior year, and I will be applying for colleges and scholarships next year. We have to consider going dark for a year, or dropping one of our shows to make up the money. And while we can fund raise, that is a lot of money to make up in one summer. I cannot afford to go to college, and if I can help this theater program keep going, then I can get even better scholarships with these two amazing shows on my resume. This theater has changed many lives like it has mine, and I would do anything to preserve it. Our students, and our directors, and of course the parent volunteers have put a lot of love into this program, and we do not want to lose our momentum. Please help us!