Peabody Middle School Students Create An Original Musical

Peabody Middle School students are performing an original musical May 24 & 25 at 7PM at the Peabody Auditorium. The musical, Storm, tells the story of a group of middle school students who are trapped in a classroom after their building collapsed from a tornado. While dealing with the frightening reality of being trapped, these students face their own "storms" and must learn to find courage together in the darkness if they are to survive.

Students began the process of creating and rehearsing the musical in December. Students discussed what it would be like to be trapped with a group of students and the conflicts that might arise. They asked questions about what really matters when faced the possibility of death. What would they want their last words to be? What kind of world would they want if they could truly effect the world around them. What kind of voice do young teenagers have in the world? After improvising various scenarios, students wrote monologues to develop their characters and explore 'storms' of middle school students.  'Storms' included parent relations, moving from to school to school, peer and academic pressure, social status, and traumatic events such as death of a loved one. The musical began to take shape as songs were selected and dialogue written. Cast members took risks as they tackled difficult issues through the creative process of molding a dramatic musical.

One of the exciting aspects of a school produced musical is the power of the performing arts to bring a community together. Parents help provide snacks and water for actors, launder costumes, help secure funding through grant writing, help with mic changes, monitor back stage, and help with choreography. Teachers and staff support the process in countless ways, and students get the incredible experience of acting, running lights and sound, painting the stage, working back stage, designing costumes, and stage managing. Students also make up the pit band which consists of two guitars, keyboard, bass, and drums. Storm promises to be a powerful experience for both those involved in the show and the audience. We hope to see you there!

The Peabody School gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Cambridge Arts Council (CAC) and the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) in helping to fund Storm.

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