Who was Alexander Hamilton? Well, for those who might be unsure about the life and contributions of the Founding Father, the fifth graders at P.S. 69, The Vincent D. Grippo School, can surely provide and entice you with a quick history lesson.
General George Washington, Christopher Columbus, Lewis and Clark, Sacagawea, and King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella joined Hamilton in an all-star cast of historical figures on Friday, March 15.
With synchronized dance numbers and clever lyricswritten by the fifth graders themselves with help from the TADA teaching teamthe two acts performed by Ms. Durantas and Ms. Brunos fifth grade classes went off without a hitch.
Incorporating clever, modern-day puns into musical dance routines and textbook facts, the students wove together a show that had the audience smiling from beginning to end.
Our student population is 56 percent English language learners. Arts is a great way to make language accessible, explained Principal Jayne Capetanakis.
Praising the TADA Youth Theater and its Director/Choreographer Joanna Greer and Music Director Jim Colleranwho accompanied the children on piano throughout the performanceCapetanakis went on to say how extraordinary it was to have this kind of theater experience at this school.
As the audience was transported through time, space and history, the student-painted backdrop and handcrafted time machine prop provided a colorful setting.
Were gonna witness the first moonwalk!, one of the student actors exclaimed during a 1969 NASA mission control scene. Ill show you the moonwalk, responded another student, replicating the King of Pops famous footwork.
The sound of sweet, well-rehearsed voices filled the auditorium as the students took up both side aisles and the stage for their big finale. Both Greer and Colleran remarked on how great the show turned out. Its a 50/50 process, Colleran added. It takes a lot of creating and a lot of rehearsing.