What's New?

This page is my e-newsletter, changing with the seasons (or whenever I get a chance to sit down and write.) Feel free to send comments, suggestions, or even jokes.

Bye Bye Birdie

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School of Franklin, Massachusetts is an unusual place. One of the first Charter Schools in Massachusetts, the K-8 school produces a major musical every year. As the drama teacher, I have the privilege of working with responsible, enthusiastic students and a great staff, including a technical director, a music director, the art teacher (who painted our sets) and a choreographer. This year our winter production was "The Sound of Music." Rehearsals were held both during the school day (in the "arts block") and after school. Participation is open to all 6th through 8th graders. Of 120 middle school students, 50 auditioned for the show. We took them all.

Several of the students have been studying for years at the Franklin School for Performing Arts. Others have learned a lot from being in previous years' productions. It shows. Maria, played by 8th grader Rachel Abbate, had a beautifully trained voice and a terrific work ethic which served to inspire the whole cast. The seven von Trapp children developed distinct personalities. The student playing the Captain entranced us as he rejected the impending Nazi takeover, spurning his rich, unprincipled fiancee for the lovely Maria. The girl playing the Mother Abbess amazed us as she sang "Climb Every Mountain" with total conviction. (This, from a student who had at first refused to believe she could sing in a soprano range.) Others danced, sang, and acted their way into the hearts of the audience. The costumes, sewn by a bevy of parent volunteers, were beautiful. Our basement cafetorium was transformed into the von Trapp villa, the Abbey, the terrace overlooking the Alps.

Performances were March 12 and 13th to appreciative, full houses.


Peter Pan

Not being one for taking too much time off, immediately after Sound of Music I began directing Peter Pan, an after-school activity for Brophy Elementary School students in grades 3-5, in association with the Performing Arts Center of Metrowest in Framingham, MA. We had a large turn-out for auditions, but had to limit the cast to twenty-six due to space constraints. Music director Amira Acre and directorial assistant Leslie Lomot and I agonized over who would play each part, but I think we decided on a great cast. We've just started rehearsals, and the kids are bursting with enthusiasm.

Peter Pan will be presented on Friday, May 28th, 2004 at 7:30pm at the Brophy School, 575 Pleasant St., Framingham. Tickets are $6 for children and $8 for adults and will be available at the door, or check my calendar for the box office number when we get a little closer to the date.

See former 'what's new' pages

See former 'what's new' pages