On May 3rd and 4th, Robert Frost Auditorium will be lit up again with song, dance and light. The Middle School students of CCMS will once again treat our municipality to three performances of the Broadway musical: SEUSSICAL, Music by Stephen Flaherty, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Book by Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens. There will be three shows: a Saturday matinee at 3PM, then Saturday night at 8PM, and Sunday at 7PM.
But wait, why is this Culver City Middle School’s production different from all other middle school productions? First, this show’s Co-Producer-Directors, Isabel Berliner, Celine Cuadra and Emily Wulf are 12 and 13 years old. The crew, who have built their own sets and created their own costumes, and every member of the cast, is all between the middle school ages of 11-14. The music, for the second year in a row, is provided by members of our high school’s jazz band, former participants in this middle school program. There’s no “teacher” teaching these students their craft. With adult supervision only for safety concerns, this is the third year that our students are learning every aspect of show production, from auditions to creative choices, to the marketing of the show and to hosting you at Robert Frost on the weekend of May 3rd.
A quote from last year’s production of Once on This Island, “It’s not about the fact that this show happened to be enjoyable. What’s amazing is that they did it themselves!”
The idea for this began three years ago, when Culver City Middle School changed their bell schedule to include a 30-minute Enrichment period, four times a week, for students to try their hand at everything from Student Court to Recycling Crew to Video Production and Editing, just to mention a few of the options. A group of students chose “School Performances” and the story goes on from there.
In the first year, students wrote, directed and produced an original dramatic production called, Catching Butterflies, written by Sofia Frohna, a then-8th grader at CCMS. Last year, current 9th grader Mariko Rooks started by requesting $1000 from the PTSA’s Gifted and Talented Education budget as a down payment on the rights to Once on This Island. She then continued to fund-raise for the rest of her pre-production costs, marshalling the efforts of students from all grades at Culver City Middle School, and our first student-operated Broadway show was born. This program has led the way for what is now a school-wide enrichment and intervention program entitled, “A.E.I.O.U.” which stands for: Advisory-Enrichment-Intervention-Olweus (anti-bullying program) and Us. If you are interested in finding out more about Culver City Middle School’s AEIOU program, please contact Ruth Morris, at [email protected].
100% of the proceeds from this show will be re-invested into next year’s production. Ticket prices are $10 per person, all ages 4 and up. Please e-mail [email protected] for more information on how to order tickets, or just send ahead your cash or check for $10 per ticket (all ages) to the attention of: CCMS Performances, Room 111, Culver City Middle School, 4601 Elenda St. Culver City, CA 90230. Please be sure to include your name, and the number of tickets needed; tickets will also be available at the door, but we will offer priority seating for your welcome pre-payment.