Up the Down Staircase - November 15 - November 17, 2018

Wellington C Mepham High School

 Crew Who's Who 

  • Christopher Sergel head shot

    Christopher Sergel


    Christopher Sergel's interests and talents led him on many adventures throughout the world. As captain of the schooner Chance, he spent two years in the South Pacific; as a writer for Sports Afield magazine, he lived in the African bush for a year; as a lieutenant commander during WWII, he taught celestial navigation; as a playwright, his adaptation of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio was seen on Broadway. But throughout his life, his greatest adventure and deepest love was his work with Dramatic Publishing. During this time, he wrote adaptations of To Kill a Mockingbird, Cheaper By the Dozen, The Mouse That Roared, Up the Down Staircase, Fame, Black Elk Speaks and many more. His love of theatre and his caring for writers made him a generous and spirited mentor to many playwrights here and around the world. He once said he hoped to be remembered as E.B. White described Charlotte: "a true friend and a good writer."

  • Bel Kaufman head shot

    Bel Kaufman


    Bella "Bel" Kaufman was an American teacher and author, well known for writing the bestselling 1964 novel Up the Down Staircase, based on her own teaching experiences. It remained on the New York Times Best Seller List for 64 weeks and was adapted into a film in 1967 and then a play. Kaufman emigrated to the United States from Ukraine in 1922 at age 12 with her parents. She first began learning English after her arrival in the U.S., but it was hard for her. Upon entering public school, she was placed in classes with first graders, hindered because of language. Kaufman attended Hunter College in New York, graduating in 1934 with a B.A. She credits a teacher who helped her to learn the English language in her elementary years, and it was through her that Kaufman came to love English literature. In 1936, she graduated with an M.A. in literature from Columbia University.

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