I love musicals. Ever since I discovered I could express myself through song and dance, I knew musicals would be my creative outlet. I remember my first musical as if it were yesterday. From the smell of the elaborate set to the complex melodies and dance routines, nothing compares to the learning experience of your first big production. I had learned and mastered the art of commitment, cooperation, and confidence before reaching the age of 10 and I still remember the songs we sang so passionately as if our little lives depended on it.
When writing this, I considered the skills, attributes and attitudes we strive to develop in the PYP with a view to pick a few to dissect and explain. However, as I looked, I realised putting on a production encompasses them all. It really is the ultimate learning experience and I know I have seen and heard the cast and crew of The Wizard of OZ develop as young learners throughout the past few months.
ENTHUSIASM, COMMITMENT, APPRECIATION, RESPECT & EMPATHY
“The point of theatre is transformation: to make an extraordinary event out of ordinary material right in front of an audience’s eyes” – Lee Hall.
When I first asked if Elementary could perform a musical this year, I admit, I was worried about the time frame and the logistical challenges I knew it would bring (especially in my first year here at YIS!) but I knew in my heart the students could do it and I knew they wanted it. Their enthusiasm and drive was the key to the production’s success. They knew the words to most of the songs before we had even started rehearsal and this continued throughout. Lines were learnt (a tough task for those with lots!), routines were rehearsed independently and rehearsals were perfectly attended. The production crew took on extra rehearsals when they knew they needed them and the design and marketing crew even created a promotional video to show around campus. Even when the pressure grew with other activities and deadlines, students knew their main priority was the show and organised their time accordingly – a valuable lesson for life I think some adults still struggle with; making priorities and sticking to them and remaining enthusiastic about a project, even when the going gets tough.
COOPERATION, CREATIVITY & CONFIDENCE
The 3 ‘C’s speak for themselves. Putting on a production like this has certainly brought to light some hidden talents and creative and confident individuals. The cast and crew of The Wizard of OZ should be extremely proud of the not only the final performance, but the process. For all those involved, my hopes are that you join in the next production and grab a few friends to be part of it too!
For more photos of the performance, please click here.
If you would like to watch the performance in HD video, please click here.
And finally, as I listen to a seemingly never-ending playlist from Broadway, West-End and Disney musicals, if your child feels passionately about musicals and performing, please do encourage them to join the Drama club ESA next semester. I assure you – it really is the ultimate learning experience!
“We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.” – Tom Stoppard
The cast and crew of the Wizard of the Oz! The show is run entirely by ES students – please come and support them and buy your tickets from the school store today. Performances take place in the Tanner Auditorium tonight at 7pm and tomorrow 2pm. You can also buy tickets on the door. See you there! :-) #yisarts
Yesterday, Grade 3 surprised the lunch hall with a flashmob dance to the tune of ‘Uptown Funk’. The students have collaborated as part of their unit of enquiry on ‘How We Express Ourselves’ with a focus on ‘our appreciation of aesthetic’. Students discussed the boundaries between audience and performer and used the idea of ‘pop-up performance’ to plan the event. They carefully considered how best to engage their audience by taking into account the location, time, content and context of the event. Their next step is to reflect on this learning journey by identifying how they engaged their audience and suggest improvements. Overall, the students have enjoyed this unit and I am sure they will have another chance to perform their fabulous dance! Please click here to view the performance!