Area teachers are ‘North Shore Bound’

2013 Wastebasket Revue begins April 11th

The 46th Annual Wastebasket Revue begins April 11 and runs through April 20 at Park Center Senior High School.

This year’s annual Wastebasket Revue will be a “North Shore Bound” trip. Performances begin Thursday, April 11. (Photo courtesy of the Wasketbasket Reveue)

This year’s annual Wastebasket Revue will be a “North Shore Bound” trip. Performances begin Thursday, April 11. (Photo courtesy of the Wasketbasket Reveue)

The Wastebasket Revue is an annual variety show created and performed by nearly 300 employees of the Osseo Area School District, including teachers, principals, cooks, custodians, secretaries, educational support professionals and administrators who volunteer their time.

This year’s show is titled “WBR – North Shore Bound.” Wastebasket Revue volunteers invite the public to take a trip with them to the beautiful North Shore of Minnesota. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a selection of great music hits, fun skits, great dance lines, the “dynamite” WBR band, the incredible Swingin’ Eds, and the WBR humor that has captivated audiences for decades.

Staff from schools in the Osseo Area School District perform in last year’s Wastebasket Revue. (Photo courtesy of the Wasketbasket Reveue)

Staff from schools in the Osseo Area School District perform in last year’s Wastebasket Revue. (Photo courtesy of the Wasketbasket Reveue)

The purpose of the show is to raise money for scholarships given to graduating seniors in the Osseo Area SchoolDistrict. Over $1 million has been raised since 1967 with 726 scholarships being awarded. Last year, $45,000 was awarded in scholarships.

In the fall of 1967, a group of Osseo teachers began working on the creation of a “variety show” to accomplish two goals: to raise money for scholarships for Osseo Senior High students going on to college and to provide an opportunity for teachers new to both District 279 and to teaching, to meet their peers outside of the buildings in which they worked.

From his experience performing in the “Blackboard Revue” while teaching choral music in Virginia, Duayne Malewicki brought the ideas of a similar variety show to a group of Osseo teachers. There was no lack on interested hams that first year, but for two years following, many staff members were very skeptical that this idea would be successful.

The name Wastebasket Revue was coined at a writing meeting of 15 to 20 interested teachers because more ideas were thrown into the wastebasket than were actually used in that first show. The musical group Swingin’ Educators name was also coined by the committee that first year. The group was patterned after Johnny Mann’s “Young Americans” who appeared in a weekly TV variety show wearing white pants and sweatshirts, singing both popular songs and standards as well as folk songs and patriotic music. The Swingin’ Educators also wore white pants the first two years, but orange sweatshirts the first year were replaced with lime green sweatshirts the second year.

To keep the show going by having seed money, the writers decided to sell “shares” for the third show. Nearly everyone who participated in the first two years purchased shares at $5 each. These were all paid in full with the box office receipts that years, and a board of directors was established. The board held back enough money so that the next year’s show could be launched, but it gave the rest away in scholarships. There were three or four $100 to $300 scholarships awarded each of those first years. In 1968, that scholarship amount could carry a student through North Hennepin Community College for a year.

This year’s performances of “WBR – North Shore Bound” will take place April 11 to 13 and 18 to 20 begin at 7 p.m. The performance Sunday, April 14, begins at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available by calling the Wastebasket Revue hotline at 763-391-7205. Tickets are also available on the WBR website at wastebasketrevue.com/tickets.

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