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home : news : school & college November 24, 2017



10/24/2017 10:24:00 AM
ACTS 8th Grade Musical Present Elf Jr.

Ring in the holiday season with everyone's favorite human elf! Elf, jr is a musical based on the 2003 New Line Cinema Film by David Berenbaum, and was adapted for Broadway to premiere in 2010. With book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, music by Matthew Sklar, and lyrics by Chad Beguelin, this stage adaptation of the well-known beloved movie is sure to delight and entertain, while leaving your toes tapping and in the mood for the season!

8th grade students prepare for the ACTS musical in a semester long effort to learn music, choreography, and dialogue while receiving musical theatre instruction from the faculty in a team-taught class. "This is truly the culminating event that every ACTS student prepares for throughout their years in the magnet program," says ACTS dance teacher and musical choreographer, Sheri Brewington. "From 5th grade on, we remind them (the students) that they are preparing for their legacy that will leave their mark on the program."

ACTS drama teacher and director of the show, Ansley Keenan, says of the upcoming musical: "We are very excited to premiere this show in our area!" Among many reasons she says the ACTS art teachers selected to do this play, she says "It is such a fun musical. Kick lines, glitter, catchy songs....each year we get more ambitious with our shows. This production challenges us, the artistic team, in new and exciting ways. It's great to come to work and put together a play, and also have the students experience a production from the ground up."

Joining the ACTS faculty in 2016, Amy Fennell, voice teacher and musical director, enjoys preparing students to sing on stage.  "With the exception of the scenic crew, every student uses his or her voice in the musical.  Everyone has the opportunity to grow!  The music for the show is very entertaining, but it also offers students vocal challenges.  The music requires full effort and energy from cast members.  We know this effort will shine through in the show."  

All 8th grade ACTS students take part in the production. At the beginning of the semester in August, students auditioned for roles or interviewed to be a part of the scenic crew, which also serves as the technical crew during the run of the shows. Art teacher, Julia McClanahan, serves as the production's scenic designer and leads the small group of student helpers in creating the set for the play. "This is a big build with a lot of new and fun surprises planned," says McClanahan. "Each year we try to turn a space that is normally not meant to accommodate full scale musicals into a legitimate theatrical space. And I think we do a pretty good job!"

New to ACTS, strings teacher, Shelby Lindler, says, "I have never been a part of such a large production like Elf Jr. before. I have been very impressed with the students and all of the work they have put into this show.  I really think audience members will be amazed when they see this show!"



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