Thursday February 20, 2014
In January, Orchard School’s students, teachers, parents, and friends were treated to a wonderful theater production of The Hobbit. Over 150 students in grade 2-5 participated in the show. Children in grades 4 and 5 comprised the cast and crew, and the 2nd and 3rd graders were the choruses. The students worked very hard over 8 weeks to learn their songs, build props, memorize lines, and practice choreography.
The production was directed by Don Wright of Very Merry Theatre. Music Director was Ashley O’Brien, also of Very Merry Theatre. Based on JR Tolkien’s classic story, the play was adapted for the stage by Don Wright with music composed by Jim Wolvington.
As with previous years, this years’ production was an impressive community event with more than 100 parent volunteers involved in running rehearsals, providing snacks, developing sets, performing in the band, fundraising and creating costumes. With all of this help, students put on a spectacular performance.
Being part of the theater scene at Orchard means progressing into larger roles as kids get older. Once students reach 4th grade, they can audition for speaking roles. Any student who wishes to participate is given a role. In 5th grade, students are given larger roles and can choose to have a singing “solo”. Children who do not wish to perform are given the option of being a part of the “crew” – creating props and sets and helping out backstage.
The goal of the show is to give every student a moment to shine. And the kids certainly do shine! Performing on stage helps to improve the children’s self-esteem and confidence. The older students are an inspiration to younger students.
Watching the play, one can feel the excitement and pride that these students feel for all the hard work they put in over several months. The gym is filled every performance night with family and friends supporting their children and their friends’ children. Watching 150 kids together on stage is a goose-bump inducing experience. This year was no exception. Congratulations to all those who participated! Job well done.