Rodgers Forge Elementary School recently presented a very successful Gail Shapira original production Elementary School Musical. Mrs. Shapira, the very talented and lovely school nurse, initially wrote the musical over winter break, but once auditions were complete it was joyfully obvious that the script needed some tweaks to accommodate all the great talent. "We had so many talented children audition for parts," said Mrs. Shapira, "I couldn't simply make them a tree. I wanted each child to have a significant role with at least a few lines. They really all did a wonderful job and the production was so much fun!"
Elementary School Musical is based on RFES's Lighthouse school status and follows the adventures and persuasions of students after an electronic virus renders all of the school's computers useless. The kids decide the best way to raise the funds to replace all of the defective electronics is to produce a musical. But first they have to convince the skeptical PTA that their plan is a solid and financially responsible one (in real life the RFES PTA happily funded and enthusiastically sponsored the production).
In all, 51 fourth- and fifth-grade students were cast in roles to act and sing their little hearts out while another 49 fourth- and fifth-graders performed all the duties of a Broadway set design and stage crew. This is the second year Mrs. Shapira has coordinated a spring musical at RFES. But like any successful show, it would not have been possible without the many fabulous parent volunteers, such as Dawn Trimble, Amanda Kastner, Kim Carter, Olga Mendel and Bridget Duncan.
A total of 600 tickets were sold to the April 24 and April 25 shows. In addition to their record-breaking ticket sales, Mrs. Shapira and troupe were featured in a segment on the Baltimore County Public School News hosted by Mary Beth Marsden. The segment is currently available on bcps.org.
The WSES television crew out of Stoneleigh Elementary School traveled to Camden Yards on April 20 for an exciting opportunity to be a part of an authentic, for-real broadcast session. Students Lila Barber, Olivia Brauer, Luka Brossard, Maylee Clifton, Eli DeLuca, Erica Eastman, Jacob Fey, Starlette Franklin, Diera Johnson. Oluyinka Lindblad, Sela McMullen, Lorali Morris, Michael Stamatos, Matthew Sullivan, Camryn Townsend, Khary Sarr and Kennedy Washington participated in a simulated broadcast in the Orioles Control Room where all of the messages, videos, graphics, and music are fed to the ball park video and score boards. Students were offered the opportunity to compare the similarities of their jobs in the WSES control room and studio to those in the real-world application. In addition to this once-in-a-lifetime experience exposing students to possible career options in the audio/visual and broadcasting fields, it was also incredibly fun. Pete Holden, a teacher at Stoneleigh, is also a member of the Orioles Production team at Camden Yards and was excited for the chance to share this opportunity with his students. Give that fan a contract!