After seven months of preparation, last week the entire 6th grade at Friends Community School performed the musical, Mary Poppins.
They performed two evenings of shows for the public and a daytime dress rehearsal for the entire school. FCS students from every grade are still singing the songs up and down the hall.
Producing a musical is part of the 6th-grade curriculum at FCS. All 30 6th graders are in the cast of the play, many playing multiple roles requiring singing, choreography, and quick costume changes. The experience builds courage, camaraderie, and lasting memories. Having once been on the other side of the curtain, FCS 7th and 8th graders return to support their younger peers backstage with lights, sound, and scenery changes.
The set and costumes for Mary Poppins were especially complex. Starting back in October, 6th grade parents met at school on weekends to sew, paint, and build “magic.” Features included a stair rail that collapses and then rights itself, a hat-stand that pulls out of Mary’s carpetbag, a cake that frosts in a snap, and, of course, a magic flying umbrella. In what other production does stagecraft earn applause during the performance?
The 6th grade celebrates its hard work with a cast party this Thursday. One parent is making a cake that looks like Mary’s hat, and the students will head out to the field for a particularly apt activity: “Let’s go fly a kite!”