Can you create musical gold from a kit? Fifty drama students and teachers at Brittany Woods Middle School in University City aim to find out.
Brittany Woods was one of 20 schools nationwide to be selected as one of NBC's Smash: Make a Musical schools.
Between now and the first week of May, students will prepare to put on "Guys and Dolls." The entire process will be filmed and clips from rehearsals to final production, along with the other 19 schools, will be shown on NBC in May.
School Principal Jamie Jordan entered the school into the competition.
iTheatrics provides the school with a script, music, props, costumes and assistance along the way.
iTheatrics resident choreographer Steven G. Kennedy has visited the students already. In his blog (http://www.juniortheaterproject.org/nbcs-smash-make-a-musical-school-16-brittany-woods-middle-school-st-louis), he said he felt immediately welcome.
When I entered the school’s main office, my gaze fell on its motto, “Where Everyone Belongs.” I immediately knew this school was a perfect fit for “NBC’s ‘Smash’: Make A Musical.”
As the fifth through eighth grade workshop participants entered, I could tell how inquisitive and confident they were. They each happily greeted me, shook my hand, and introduced themselves. I always say being part of a musical doesn’t guarantee you will be a star, but it certainly makes you a better and stronger individual. These students already possess so much strength of character and they know how to welcome the new guy!
Wu Bakeman, a teacher at Brittany Woods, is helping with the musical aspect of the production. Nikki Lloyd, a communications arts teacher, is the other director.
"The national recognition is exciting," Bakeman said. "But what is really thrilling is being able to watch these children perform — there is lots of talent. They love to ham it up."
The students are working after school one to two days a week to get ready for the big production.
"Everything is after hours — we're not going to pull the kids out of their core classes," Bakeman said.
Right now 50 sixth, seventh and eighth graders are participating in the musical, Bakeman said.
"There is such enthusiasm," she said. "It is jaw-dropping to see the amazing talent we have."
Patch will continue to follow the progress of the musical. Check back for updates as Brittany Woods middle schoolers make a musical!