Quarantine Creativity with a Musical Twist

By Shannon Boatwright

ShannonBoatwright_MTR

In these uncertain times, sometimes you have to get a little creative! I teach drama and musical theatre at Beechwood Middle School. While we are all sequestered at home, I was inspired by a young man named Colin O’Leary who created his own funny videos using Broadway songs. You see, I normally teach 382 kids a day – yes 382! Reaching out to them online has been a really fun challenge and has definitely opened a lot of opportunity for getting creative! So, in the spirit of Mr. O’Leary, I made my own video for my students!

Needless to say, my students have LOVED it. It has been a wonderful thing. The video was even featured on WIS-TV last week. Even better, I’ve challenged my students to get creative and make their own videos to share with me. This eLearning thing is a new adventure for sure, but I’m enjoying being able to connect one on one with my students in really unique ways.

It’s a Hard Knock Life…

By: Shannon Shull

Sun will come out tomorrow

I’ve discovered something major about life… we all have hardships. Everyone has a story.  A story they could share if they want, if they dare, that most likely someone, if not everyone, could relate to on some level.

It’s a hard-knock life.

I’ve been teaching my honors drama students about musicals. I’m a lover of musical theatre and it has been a real treat for me to get to this lesson with some of my special students…especially those who have an inherent appreciation for musical theatre and all its glorious wonder.  I love to see the zeal in their faces when they get so excited telling me about some of their favorite moments in the productions they love so much. Some of them get so excited they can’t help but sing the songs as they talk with me about them.

The most interesting element, though, is the fact that they relate to the characters they see on screen. In some cases we all do. That’s why we’re so drawn to them.  I was never an orphan, but goodness did I ever relate to Annie. I felt her pain, I lived her story as I sang her songs in my back yard as a child. I still sing the songs from Annie to this day and feel such joy, love, fun and hope. The sun will come out tomorrow… seriously, it just doesn’t get much better than that. Most of you from my generation know the musical and know it well. The sun will come out tomorrow. Think about it. When you’re stuck with a day that’s grey and lonely, just stick out your chin and grin and say… oh…

You know what that song is saying, right? In a very nice, cheesy way, it’s saying, suck it up, stop feeling so sorry for yourself and take note of reality! The sun is going to come out tomorrow and if not tomorrow, it’s gonna come out eventually at some point. So suck it up, stand tall and brave another day cause ya got nothing to lose and everything to gain from having a good attitude about the day that you’re lucky enough to be blessed with, which is a tomorrow.

Yep, it’s a hard knock life. No ifs, ands or buts about that. Life can tend to kick one in the pants and kick you down so hard you wonder why you even try to get back up. Then you take a cheesy song, like “Tomorrow” from Annie, and you let it touch your heart, and you begin to realize why you get back up. It’s a hard knock life, but who says we have to let it keep us down?  YOU control your destiny. Therefore, if you decide to let this “hard knock life” control and consume you, guess what? It will. If you decide to conquer it, and you show life all that you have to offer and that you refuse to let it run you down, then you can declare that the sun will indeed come out tomorrow and you plan to take every advantage of that tomorrow and all its potential and glory.

So go ahead… I know you want to. Sing it… yes, sing the song. “The sun will come out, tomorrow! Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, they’ll be sun…” It can be a fabulous experience if you just let yourself enjoy it, dive right in and sing it at the top of your lungs! Be grateful that you get a tomorrow! I bet your bottom dollar they’ll be sun… hang on until tomorrow, come what may…I love ya, tomorrow, we’re only day away! 😉

I know it’s goofy… but I guarantee it’ll make your heart smile. Show this hard knock life what you’re really made of and don’t even dare let it get the best of you, cause hey, we know …I know… you know…the sun will come out tomorrow. 😉