CHALK seems to have done something that the average high school musical does not. It has helped students see that teachers aren't just MCAS taskmasters, but have feelings and outside lives. Teachers throughout the school feel affirmed: Students finally see the tribulations they go through! — The Boston Globe
Eric Stahl is a first-year teacher who arrives at the local public high school with big hopes and even bigger ideals. But unexpected challenges await within the walls of his biology classroom. Guided by his reluctant mentor and a self-help fanatic, Eric struggles to gain control of the classroom and an understanding of himself as he questions everything from which colored pen to grade with to his most fundamental beliefs.
Strangers to the 21st-century high school got a peek into what life here really is like. They came away understanding that while students and teachers have their share of problems, people here are just trying to survive and learn something new. — The Newtonite
No one was quite sure what to expect of CHALK: The Musical. Would it be a cheesy "High School Musical" replica that had everyone half-cringing/half-laughing? Would it be a classic Broadway-type musical, with flashing lights and kick-lines? Would it be unexpectedly forward and expose every dirty detail of classroom life in high school? The correct answer: none of the above. CHALK's songs range in style from rap to country to latin to indie rock to gospel, and its topics from extra credit to "the system" in which our schools run. The show appeals to both students and teachers, and it was clear who was sitting where in the audience by where the laughs were coming from. Still, no matter what the age, everyone was pleased to follow CHALK's main character...through his hilarious yet heartbreaking first year of teaching. — Blueprint
Then there's the fact that two teachers wrote this. It's not someone's perceived notion of what high school is like. It's not someone saying, 'I remember 20 years ago what high school was like.' It is teachers and students, in a high school, working together to create a musical that is incredibly relevant to the high school experience of the 21st century. It's also catchy. I mean, I've been singing the songs all week. — Jen Price, Newton North High School Principal