Emmy Magazine Article "In the Mix"

There is a shy teen who blossoms on stage as the star of the high school musical. There's the soccer jock who finds a greater bliss belting out numbers from Bye Bye Birdie than kicking goals into the net. Then there's the archetypal drama coach, inspiring her students to unleash their innermost thespians.

But these characters are no fictional, prime­ time casting. Most Valuable Players documents a real and endearing collection of drama students from eastern Pennsylvania as they feverishly (and sometimes awkwardly) put on their schools' an­ nual musicals. They then compete in the Freddy Awards, a yearly recognition of outstanding high­ school musical theater that culminates before sold-out crowds - and a live TV audience - in the grandiose State Theatre in Easton, Pennsyl­ vania, and rivals the Tony Awards for exuberance.

"I cried. I laughed," says Lisa Erspamer, ex­ ecutive vice-president, production and develop­ ment, at the Oprah Winfrey Network, who chose Most Valuable Players to air in September as part of the recently launched OWN Documentary Club.

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Matthew Kallis