nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Archives | Subscribe | Special Sections


Local News arrow Education arrow In The Spotlight arrow Josette Keelor arrow Warren County

| 0

Musical a first for Warren County Middle

2013_11_05_Warren_Musical1.jpg
From right, Sophia Lusk, 12, a seventh grader at Warren County Middle School sings a solo during a rehearsal of "Broadway Beat," a musical revue of Broadway songs, with the help of Adrianne Kinsey, Bailey Ontiveros and Hannah Bates, all 11-year-olds in the sixth grade. The musical, which begins Thursday night, will be the school's first ever. Josette Keelor/Daily (Buy photo)

2013_11_05_Warren_Musical2.jpg
Kayleigh Hite, 11, a seventh grader at Warren County Middle School, performs a solo during a rehearsal of "Broadway Beat." Cheyanna Muhlert, 12, back left, and Brooke Allen, 11, are also pictured. Josette Keelor/Daily (Buy photo)

2013_11_05_Warren_Musical3.jpg
From left, Tyler Plazio, 12, Matthew Adams, 11, Bailey Ontiveros, 11, Adrianne Kinsey, 11, and Dakin Estes, 12, rehearse a song from the musical "Grease," part of a musical revue at Warren County Middle School. Brooke Bargeron, 11, is pictured at second row left. Josette Keelor/Daily (Buy photo)


By Josette Keelor

Everyone said he was crazy when Principal Alan Fox suggested Warren County Middle School offer a musical this fall.

"They told me I didn't have any idea what I was talking about," he said.

He could understand their hesitancy.

"We've never tried anything like this," he said. The last show involving students was two years ago -- a one-act play appropriately named "This is a Test," which Wayside Theatre in Middletown organized and directed at the middle school thanks to a grant proposal written by former Wayside board member and middle school band director Pam Dyke.

But that was the work of a professional theater, he said.

"This is unmatched. I had no idea what a big production this would be."

About 70 students auditioned for roles in "Broadway Beat," a musical revue of well-known production numbers, and 36 made the cast, said Dyke, who organized the production with choir director Beth Whitney. Another six made the crew.

As Fox put it, one in 11 students at the school wanted to work on the production. So it wasn't for lack of interest that the school never tried a musical before, he said.

"It wasn't in our budget," he said.

The money it would cost to secure the rights of a national production and the manpower required to hold auditions, prepare choreography and lead a group of 36 sixth and seventh graders was a hefty endeavor.

To raise money, the school held a dance, and Fox hopes to recoup the rest with ticket sales. Plus they've had a lot of donations of time. Once he announced the need for help, "they found us, honestly."

English teacher Katie McNelly, who has several years dancing experience, joined with community member Jennifer Ontiveros to choreograph the production.

At a recent rehearsal, McNelly directed students through musical numbers from "Hairspray," "Wicked," "Rent," "Grease" and "Annie" as well as a medley of patriotic music by George M. Cohan. It was the first time they ran through the entire show, but the performers were already practiced in song lyrics, dance moves, blocking and in some cases lines.

Because it's a musical revue, "Broadway Beat" is heavy on the music and light on text, but some students have lines between the songs to help connect one to the next in a fluid almost-storyline that lasts about 45 minutes, Dyke said.

"We found that would be just right for us," she said.

The school's recent move into the old high school building also helped make the musical possible, Whitney said. In the old building, there wasn't enough space.

But Dyke said a donation from Wayside also came at the perfect time.

"The majority of our costumes we got from Wayside," she said. "We didn't have anything." Besides costumes, the school also accepted eyeglasses, accessories and ties.

"We don't really have a budget for our theater department," she said. "We don't have a department, it's just me and Beth."

"[It's] nice to have something to start with," she said.

Fox was inspired to try this because of the singers he's heard at the school over the years, particularly at the Warren County Middle School Idol singing competition each spring.

To put on a musical of this size, he said, "We knew that we had to have a number of very good singers." But he didn't expect this many.

"The total talent that we have this year is overwhelming," he said. "People will cry on Thursday night."

Performances of "Broadway Beat" will be at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Warren County Middle School auditorium, 240 Luray Ave., Front Royal. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students, and are available at the door. For more information, call 540-635-2194 or visit www.wcps.k12.va.us/wcms/.

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com


Keep up to date on local news

Sign up here to receive Northern Virginia Daily news delivered to your email box each morning and when breaking news occurs.

Comments

Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.













Local News Sections

Affordable Care Act Agency on Aging Agriculture Alex Bridges Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Business Charities Civil War Clarification Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Election 2013 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jeff Nations Joe Beck Josette Keelor Katie Demeria Kim Walter Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mount Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Progress 2013 Quicksburg Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail Ryan Cornell School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review




News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

nvdaily.com
2013 Virginia Press Association Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!


nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com