Weston, Florida (PRWEB) June 15, 2014
From choreography and costumes to set design and singing, young thespians were put to the challenge for The Sagemont School’s spring performances of Cats and Aladdin Jr. The school, which has an award-winning performing arts program, produced two spectacular shows to close out the season.
Sagemont’s fourth and fifth grade Drama Club performed Aladdin Jr. It was a magical experience five months in the making. Under the direction of Michelle Arango, Irene Perez, Diana Summermatter and Lauren Thoms, affectionately called the “Drama Queens,” the students committed hours upon hours learning lines, practicing choreography and singing their hearts out.
One of the highlights of the production was the life-sized camel that carried Prince Ali onto the stage during the show-stopping number Prince Ali. An entire week of construction went into creating this magnificent piece out of plastic pipes, plywood, foam, fabric and paint.
The Drama Club is a popular program because it provides students with important life skills. Fifth grader Angelina Padron, who played Jasmine, says she learned that “we are all a team and everyone is important in the play.” Classmate Alejandra Parnell agrees. “I experienced a lot more of teamwork and effort during the drama play. This wouldn’t have been successful without the hard work and effort of everyone in drama.”
Some of the students said the play also helped them personally. “Doing a play in front of a lot of people helps me with my stage fright when I have to present my book reports,” shares fourth grader Silvana Tedeschi.
Many of these young thespians will matriculate in Sagemont’s Middle School drama program. In May, it presented the popular musical, Cats, complete with a two-story replica of the original Broadway set.
“Our backdrop was created digitally in Photoshop by students and was projected on the cyclorama with a high-powered digital projector,” explains Cats Director Elizabeth Garrard, drama teacher at The Sagemont Upper School Campus.
The students were introduced to other elements of professional theater in this production. The costumes, many of which were hand-made by the students, were replicas of the costumes from the original Broadway show. The actors wore grease paint, the make-up used by professional actors, to be made-up as cats. The students also got the chance to work with a professional choreographer.
“The dances the Sagemont Thespians performed were all choreographed by Marcus Davis, a distinguished professional in the South Florida theater scene, who recently appeared in Spamalot at Actor’s Playhouse on Miracle Mile, and choreographed the world premiere of The Trouble with Doug at Arts Garage,” states Mrs. Garrard.
The Sagemont School is fortunate that its performing arts program is able to attract industry professionals. Working with talent of this caliber offers an incredible opportunity to students. So it’s no surprise the program is so highly regarded. It earned three distinguished Cappie nominations.
Angel Martinez was nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her performance as Jo March in Little Women. “That role was a milestone for Angel who has participated in The Sagemont School theater program since fourth grade, when she appeared as the grandmother in Willy Wonka,” explains Mrs. Garrard.
Angel says by participating in performing arts she has gained confidence. “The environment created and experiences I’ve been through in rehearsals and shows with everyone who enjoys and values theater as much as I do have taught me that the performing arts are one of the most effective and valuable ways to express yourself and make you aware of your personal capabilities.”
Little Women earned Sagemont another Cappie nomination. Bailey Jones and her crew, which included Tyler Jones, Rebecca Jordan, Daniel Entenberg, and Marcella Vargas, received a nomination for best props,” says Mrs. Garrard. “They designed and organized props that effectively resembled the Civil War Era for the production of Little Women.”
In addition, Maria Moncaliano was nominated and won the Cappie for Senior Critic for her outstanding journalism as a student theater critic.
Mrs. Garrard is anticipating even better things for the Sagemont drama program when it opens its brand new Visual and Performing Arts building in August. “We will be able to explore so many new creative options that were not feasible with our vagabond status. The facility will allow students to explore aspects of technical theater that were not available before.”
She plans to incorporate lighting and sound design into her lesson plans. She is also looking forward to exploring alternative staging options that will enhance the audience experience. “Students will be able to experience theater from a whole new perspective, both onstage and off,” adds Mrs. Garrard.
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.