Musical Taking on Middle Schoolers
February 28, 2023
The musical is something people look forward to every year, but this year comes with a little twist. The new choir teacher and drama club sponsor, Mr. Samarzea, is taking over and he’s introducing something new. He plans to begin putting younger kids into shows. Students in second grade and up can participate.
Mr. Samarzea has many grand plans for shows, including creating “stage families” comprised of a few high schoolers and a younger kid, in order to create a more diverse area on stage. “You’ll get a whole bunch of kids that are about the same height and everybody kind of looks the same age and it helps to sort of break up the field of vision,” he said.
Another benefit that comes with bringing in younger kids is that introducing drama club to kids early on gives them positive experiences to draw from when entering high school. He said, “Those kids are going to grow up and come to high school and remember the amazing time they had, ‘that was so much fun, I want to do that.’” Introducing kids to the arts early is a great way to get them immersed, and they are more likely to come back later on in their schooling. Experiences like getting to participate in the high school plays now are going to make elementary schoolers excited to come back and do it the next year and, later, audition for the theater program as high schoolers.
Samarzea points out some other benefits, such as getting the confidence and experience to be able to do other life tasks more easily, like job applications, speaking in front of others, or even finding the confidence to be able to make friends with others. He said, “In many ways, life is drama. Whether you’re going to a job interview, that’s like an audition. Life is like a dress rehearsal, there are no do-overs.”
Along with introducing kids to choir and teamwork early, it can also introduce them to the more musical or technical sides of things. Although the kids auditioning won’t be allowed many roles other than choir singers, it still exposes them to opportunities like costuming, the musical pit, and the technicians who make things run behind the scenes. They may initially audition to sing, but over time realize they love the instruments or simply helping behind the stage.
Having younger kids both exposes them to all sorts of new experiences they never might have had and it also reminds the high schoolers of what they were like as kids. Having a more innocent and lively presence on stage may be helpful for the high schoolers. They might even learn a thing or two from the kids they work with. They may also discover they like to help others.
There are a ton of benefits to having younger students on the musical set. Those working on set are excited to put on this year’s musical. For now, we can sit and wait patiently as the rehearsals start and the work begins.