On Stage/The Arts
The Shows Must Go On
The Grace Theatre Company Makes a Movie
This Spring, high school drama students embodied the saying, “the show must go on!” Over the course of several weeks, The Grace Theatre Company produced “A Guide to Getting Through,” its first-ever movie musical. After recording songs in an on-campus music studio, 20 young actors filmed the entirety of the revue in over 13 locations around New York City, providing a welcomed glimpse of the Big Apple after months of lockdown. With songs and scenes that imparted advice on how to make the best of a not-so-great situation, “A Guide to Getting Through” offered a sweet farewell not only to the school year, but also to drama teacher and director Sabrina Jacob Washburn.
Grace Dance Ensemble: In These Unprecedented Times
In May, High Schoolers in the Grace Dance Ensemble presented a Zoom performance of “In These Unprecedented Times,” a evening of dance works choreographed by students, faculty and guest choreographer Alice Gosti, whose work has been recognized with numerous awards and residencies including the prestigious National Dance Project from the New England Foundation for the Arts.
Throughout the performance, students moved through intimate solos and vibrant duets, shifting toward the camera in moments that felt haunting and then playful. Dancers bridged sound and space through percussive footwork and sharp accents in the torso and shoulders. The show concluded with a showstopping presentation of LIMINALE, a work choreographed by Gosti, for which students had the opportunity to rehearse with the professional choreographer online.
Mr. Tap Toe
First grade students celebrated National Tap Dance Day with a performance of “Mr. Tap Toe” in May. Laurel Lesio, Early Childhood music and dance teacher, has been teaching the routine for 15 years in recognition of the day established to honor this uniquely American art form, which falls on May 25, the birthday of legendary African-American tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.
Watch all of their riveting performances on our Academic Excellence page.
Nine Broadway stars collaborated with Middle School theater students in “Off Broadway/On Zoom,” a virtual sampling of some of Broadway’s greatest show tunes.
Susan Sterman Jones says “I wanted to keep our young actors engaged, and when thinking about all the theatre people out of work with the Broadway houses closed, I figured this would be a wonderful and exciting way of bringing everyone together! After a few emails from music director Dan Prado, the seasoned performers agreed to work side-by-side with Grace’s middle school actors to dazzle “theater-goers” with show tune favorites from Little Women, Guys & Dolls, Hamilton and more.
The spirited show was a hit and the influence of the showbiz professionals on the students shone, even through viewers’ Zoom windows, as the young performers took the virtual stage with an elevated maturity, confident tone and bright performances.
Susan added, “I was amazed at how eager our professional actors were, and our Grace theatre kids loved the opportunity to interact with them.” The students got an extra treat when some of the professional actors joined them for pizza on 10th Street for an outdoor cast party.
Students were joined by Stephanie D’Abruzzo (Tony nominee, Drama Desk Award winner Avenue Q), Lilli Cooper (Tony nominee Tootsie), Todd Buonopane (Chicago, Grease, TV’s 30 Rock), Jeff Kready (A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder, Billy Elliot the Musical), Nikki Renee Daniels (The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess, Les Miserables), Nick Blaemire (composer and lyricist Glory Days), Robert Ariza (Chicago company Hamilton), Kate Loprest (First Date, Hairspray), Zell Steele Morrow (Fun Home, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and Suri Marrero (Netflix’s John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch, Lion King).