Griswold Middle School students produce annual musical

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Griswold - posted Mon., Apr. 1, 2013
Contributed. Griswold Middle School musical Magic to Do.
Griswold Middle School students assemble for the grand finale of 'Magic to Do,' their annual musical production. Courtesy photo.

Students at Griswold Middle School staged three performances of their annual musical production, “Magic to Do,” March 25 and 26. The script for this year’s play was penned by GMS music teacher Kathy Bocciarelli, who wove the plot around 12 popular songs from several different eras, including “Put a Little Love In Your Heart,” “Twist and Shout” and “For Good” from the musical “Wicked.”

Bocciarelli said that the show’s themes of good citizenship and kindness reflect the school district’s connection to Rachel’s Challenge, which aims to spread a culture of kindness in public schools through acceptance and personal acts of friendship. “The kids were into it, believing in what they were doing,” she said. “I think we’re going to do this [play] every few years.”

She said that the production also served to promote the student-teacher advisory program recently initiated at the middle school. Through the program, each middle school teacher is assigned about 12 students, with whom they meet on a regular basis to do character-building activities. The purpose is to ensure “that every kid has at least one adult in the building that they have some connection with,” she said.

About 50 students in grades five through eight had roles in the production, whether onstage or behind the scenes as crew members, Bocciarelli said.  Along with the onstage cast, two middle school students on drums and bass joined middle school music teacher Louis Bocciarelli on keyboards to provide the instrumental back-up in the pit. He also served as the show’s technical director.

Rehearsals for the show started in January and took place entirely after school, said Kathy Bocciarelli. This is the 15th year for middle school musicals at GMS, and the productions serve as a precursor for the big musical productions staged each spring at Griswold High School. The GMS productions boost enthusiasm for drama among the younger students and give them a taste of the team-building that comes from producing a show, she said.

“[The kids] were crying when it was over. There was that camaraderie,” she said. “Once kids have had that first good experience in theater, they almost always crave more.”

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