This year’s Nutcracker includes new choreography from Estelle Zhu PA’20 for the Tea variation in Act II. Estelle, who is highly trained in traditional Chinese Dance, worked with dancers Claire Song and Candy, while Samantha Lee used her expertise in rhythmic gymnastics to improve upon our ribbon choreography! Here is a preview of the work in the studio.
I am always so grateful to the adults who volunteer to participate in the Party Scene for the Nutcracker. We rehearse every Thursday evening in the term for one hour. The best Thursday is the evening we all join Billy Murray in the dressing room area to try on the costumes. I was struck this year looking at the bodice of one of the dresses that has a hook and eye enclosure for all of the people who have done this part over the twenty year period! Thanks to Tina and Kevin Graber for playing the parents for many of these years and for helping me recruit all the other adults!
Students, in THD510, co-taught by LCG and Mr. Grimm, created the production of The 50% (Things We Are Too Scared To Say). The ensemble generated monologues and vignettes based on their own experiences with various aspects of identity, including race, class, gender, and sexuality at PA and beyond. Students were directed by Rhea Prem and Ria Vieira. Performance schedule: 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night (November 2 and 3) in the Theater Classroom, GW Hall. The play will also be performed on MLK Day, exclusively for the ninth grade class.
I can only imagine that when I am looking back as my time as chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance – our recent production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf will stand out as a high water mark. This was an outstanding collaboration from directors Allen Grimm and Linda Carter-Griffith, set designer Jake Josef with lights and costumes by Billy Murray. I have never seen an ensemble cast more committed to a project. The student actors and technicians made this script come alive in such an impactful way. I look at this photo of the cast with such admiration. To mark the passing of the playwright, attached is an article of “seven flames” kindled – I am pretty sure there are many, many more flames out there ignited by Ntozake Shange work.