In the Middle: A Brave New World

 

Artwork by Madi Ray

Artwork by Madi Ray

The inspiration behind an original piece of work, inspired by middle school students and created by a drama teacher taking a chance on a vision.

A note from that teacher…

“I admit, I’m the kind of person that hears a song and sees the stage – music sometimes affects me in such a way that I will literally produce a whole show in my mind as I’m listening to it. I see the stage and everything happening on it. I become so inspired that the vision takes over. This was the case with this show, except that I was had several sources of inspiration. I was listening to the band 30 Seconds to Mars and I couldn’t stop thinking about the middle school students that I teach at Chapin Middle School.

When some of the songs set my mind and my imagination into high gear, I felt compelled to host conversations with my students about the things they face at this stage in their precious lives. These conversations proved to not only be entertaining, but incredibly eye opening. I realized very quickly how crucial this time in their lives really is. They are literally stuck in the middle of childhood and what I like to call, “teenagedom.” What happens to them at this point in their lives – who they’re influenced by, what inspires them, the confidence and knowledge they gain, among many other things – all help to define who they are as they take this roller coaster ride that is adolescence.”

Ok, yes, that teacher is me. I can, with great relief, say that the show was a big success. Let’s just say that after opening night, I was a crying, overwhelmed, incredibly thankful, exhausted mess. I was so fearful that my vision might not come across to our audience – that they wouldn’t “get it.” I took a big chance and I certainly don’t claim that the show was perfect by any means. However, I can say with confidence that I was overwhelmed with pride that my students and I were able to pull off my vision and were able to truly entertain and touch our audiences.

7th Grade Cast

7th Grade Cast

The show’s promotional description states that it is an intriguing selection of monologues, scenes and videos with quote-worthy narration in between, straight from the hearts and minds of teens. Comedic and dramatic material from middle school teens’ points of view on school, relationships, role models and life ‘in the middle’…from coping with the epidemic boy band fever, fashion blunders and guys trying to look “hot” for picture day, to overcoming adversity – like bullying, cancer and the loss of a loved one, this is war and these kids are experiencing a brave new world!

In the program, I stated that I would let the show speak for itself and hoped that it would touch the audience, warm hearts, make everyone laugh out loud and motivate everyone to applaud the passions and talents of these truly fabulous middle school students. (And, maybe it would help people to remember to have a little more patience for their moments of adolescence insanity!)  🙂

8th Grade Cast

8th Grade Cast

The compliments following the shows were amazing. They still bring tears of joy to my eyes since I was not only able to entertain and touch an audience with our little show, but was able to inspire and provide a positive performance experience for my students; one that I hope they never forget.

I must say, these amazing humans who are currently “stuck in the middle” have certainly inspired me beyond words.  I am honored and privileged to have been in this priceless position to make this vision of mine come to life. Hopefully I’ll be able to share many more experiences with the EveryWomanBlog.com readers!

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