Arts

Upper School Musical

The Play's the Thing

Beauty and the Beast, 2012
Drama Program Develops Confidence and Abilities
“The natural impulse for children to ’put on a show’ finds an early and frequent forum at The Country School.”
–Neil Mufson, Headmaster

The Upper School musical and each grade’s annual class play are important touchstones along the road of a Country School education. The musicals that are produced each spring are in many ways the culmination of years of work. Starting in Kindergarten, children have a number of opportunities to perform on stage each year. In addition to the class plays and Upper School musical, there are two talent shows a year and each homeroom takes a turn beginning our weekly assembly with a poem or song. Since every child participates in at least their class presentations, confidence and abilities have a chance to develop so that being on stage and in front of a group becomes almost second nature. Surveys say that among Americans’ greatest fears is speaking in front of a group. Not so of Country School students!

Class plays assume a key role in developing the remarkable level of poise and stage presence our children demonstrate. These productions also foster creativity, team work, an appreciation for each person’s contribution to the whole, and the wonderful feeling that comes from achieving success in a demanding and positive activity. Class plays also afford the two homerooms at each grade level an important chance to work together. Parents often get into the act in numerous ways – from making costumes and scenery to hosting the little “cast parties” that celebrate the productions’ success. Classes bond and feelings of community are strengthened. Although these plays are undoubtedly time consuming, they offer important opportunities for our students to work together and nurture abilities they might not even know they have. In the process, character is strengthened and lasting memories are made.

All of this is replicated and amplified in many ways through the astoundingly successful Upper School musical productions. The level of performance our students achieve is impressive. The students make a strong commitment to the production and rehearse for months. The quality of their acting, singing, and dancing is inspiring, as is the shows’ staging, lighting, costuming, make up, and special effects. Directors Rick Osborne and Pam Harrison and our parent producers begin planning for the next year almost as soon as the scenery comes down from the current play. Numerous parents and volunteers also lend countless hours and special talents to every aspect of the production – from backdrop painting to publicity. The quality of what our students achieve and experience through the Upper School musical is unrivaled.

The natural impulse for children to “put on a show” finds an early and frequent forum at The Country School. Yet as wonderful as all of these productions are, their lasting power lies in the underlying lessons they make possible for our students. It is through these opportunities that our students (and our audiences) reap the benefits of this important hallmark of a Country School education.

2018 Production: Shrek, Jr.

The Country School is proud to announce that its Upper School will be performing Shrek The Musical Jr., based on the Oscar-winning movie. Everyone’s favorite ogre, Shrek, leads his band of misfits on a sprawling, fun adventure to rescue Princess Fiona from the clutches of evil Lord Farquaad. Accompanied by the hilarious Donkey, as well as beloved—and a little twisted—fairytale favorites like Pinocchio and Puss in Boots, Shrek sets out to save his swampy home from the annoying fairies that have invaded there. On the way, Shrek learns about love, loyalty and how he can rely on his friends to get out of a pickle in a hurry.

The play will be directed by The Country School’s Ryan Catterton. Katie Cox will be assistant director. 

Musical performances are at The Country School and are scheduled for February 23rd and March 2 at 7 p.m., and February 25th and March 4
th at 3 p.m.

Past Productions

  • James & the Giant Peach, 2017
  • Mary Poppins, 2016
  • Aladdin, 2015
  • Peter Pan, 2014
  • The Little Mermaid, 2013
  • Beauty & the Beast, 2012
  • The Music Man, 2011
  • The Wizard of Oz, 2010
  • Alice in Wonderland, 2009
  • Once Upon a Mattress, 2008
  • Aladdin, 2007
  • Seussical the Musical, 2006
  • Just So, 2005
  • Peter Pan, 2004
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, 2003
  • The Enchantment of Beauty and the Beast, 2002
  • The Emperor’s Nightingale, 2001
 

  • Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 2000
  • The Secret Garden, 1999
  • The Wizard of Oz, 1998
  • Once Upon a Mattress, 1997
  • The Hobbit, 1996
  • Toad of Toad Hall, 1995
  • Alice in Wonderland, 1994
  • The Emperor’s Nightingale, 1993
  • The Truth About Cinderella, 1992
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, 1991
  • The Wizard of Oz, 1990
  • Once Upon a Mattress, 1989
  • Peter Pan, 1988
  • The Ransom of Red Chief, 1987
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