The Sagemont School Celebrates Stage Production Successes

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Sagemont, a Broward private school, finished their drama production season with grand applause. This year’s spring presentations included Willy Wonka, Jr. and The Wizard of Oz and more.

Spring/Summer 2013, The echoes of applause still ring in the air as young thespians at The Sagemont School, a college prep school in Weston, Florida, celebrate the success of their two spring productions. After months of practice, the drama department presented two beloved children’s stories, Willy Wonka (an adaptation of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) and The Wizard of Oz.

Fourth and fifth grade actors put on an exceptional performance of Willy Wonka, Jr. Under the direction of Michelle Arango and Irene Perez, with the assistance of Diana Summermatter, 32 student actors perfectly portrayed everyone from Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket to the colorful cast of Oompa Loompas.

Ms. Arango credits the young cast for their dedication and hard work. “All those fourth and fifth graders interested in investing five months of dedication are invited to audition. They must maintain a high grade point average in all their classes and be present at all rehearsals that we conduct twice a week at first and gradually increase the day as we get closer to show time.”

In selecting the cast, the directors try to find a position for everyone. Although not everyone can play a lead character, students learn that “in a musical production everyone is important or there is no show,” explains Ms. Perez.

Fifth grader Zachary Dishinger played the lead of Willy Wonka with fourth grader Josiah Acevedo as Charlie Bucket and fifth grader Ian Cobiella as Grandpa Joe. Some of the other key characters included Jacob Shawwa as Augustus Gloop, Declan Byrne as Mike Teavee, Maegan Osmond as Violet Beauregarde, and Natalie Medina as Veruca Salt.

As has become a tradition at The Sagemont School, Principal JoAnn Laskin made a cameo appearance in the show playing Grandma Georgina.

Several faculty members appeared in the middle school production of The Wizard of Oz playing some of the citizens of Oz and flying monkeys, but not overshadowing the student actors. The play featured 30 middle school cast members, as well as 15 lower school students who portrayed the Munchkins.

The Wizard of Oz leads included sixth grader Alexandra Krietenstein as Dorothy, sixth grader Olivia Byrne as Aunt Em and Glinda the Good Witch, eighth grader Sam Weisenberg as Uncle Henry and the gatekeeper, classmate Gabriel Garrison as the Tin Man and Hickory, sixth grader Andrea Altamirano as the Cowardly Lion and Zeke, eight grader Jared Marzan as the Scarecrow, and seventh grader Lauren Wiecek as the Wicked Witch and Almira Gulch.

The crew included six high school students and eight middle school students. Drama instructor Elizabeth Garrard says she tries to include as many students as possible and likes the older students to mentor the younger ones. It is this philosophy that has built Sagemont’s award-winning theater program.

“Participation in plays at the elementary and middle school levels teaches students the basics of acting. They learn to speak loudly and clearly, develop characters, and discover motivations,” explains Ms. Garrard. “They also learn theater terminology and the importance of the rehearsal process. This helps to prepare them for the much more rigorous expectations of competitive theater in high school, where they must go beyond the basics to create truly three dimensional characters with complex psychological motivations.”

The success of the Sagemont theater program is evident in the school’s seven Cappie nominations for Legally Blonde: The Musical.

The Sagemont School offers a college preparatory curriculum and operates two campuses in Weston, Fl. In preschool through the elementary grades, The Sagemont School provides core concepts in a creative environment combined with weekly specials that include science, art, music, Spanish for non-native & native speakers, swimming, PE and media and technology. From middle school through high school graduation, Sagemont students choose from a variety of regular, honors and AP course work. In addition, students share in a networked wireless laptop environment and participate in a comprehensive guidance program for college entrance. Visit The Sagemont School Web site at http://www.sagemont.com/.

For more information on The Sagemont School contact Dr. Brent Goldman, President at (954) 389-2454 ext., 305, or email to bgoldman(at)sagemont(dot)com.To read more stories about The Sagemont School written by Stacey Bomser go to School News at http://www.ourcityweston.com/

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Maria Ackermann

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