Junie B. Jones: A Sensational Student Production [Video]
Zac, a Minnehaha Academy senior, along with his theatre classmates, decided that this spring the show must go on! Through creativity and persistence the students found new ways to perform safely during the pandemic.
Zac directed the spring student production of the musical Junie B. Jones. He selected this one-act musical as an antidote to the times. "Junie B. Jones is a whimsical production, full of glitter and color," said Zac. "But behind the sparkle is a message of the importance of living in the moment and finding the silver lining, even during difficult times. It's from producing this play that I've learned more deeply that theatre is such a wonderful way to connect with others, and it's not just about the final product, it's also about enjoying the process."
Zac chose to do Junie B. Jones the Musical not only because it is a fun and high energy show, but also to connect with the younger elementary students at MA. "Theatre is about imagination, creation, and discovering new stories. This particular story is one that elementary age kids can really connect to. They know what the first day of school is like or love to play kickball at recess, or have a favorite toy that they brought in for show and tell. It is so important to introduce kids to the world of theatre and imagination at a young age, and with a show like this it's something magical."
"My favorite part about working on Junie B has been getting to do an activity in person again," said Ava, who played Junie B. Jones. "I absolutely love musicals and the last musical I was in at Minnehaha was cancelled due to COVID-19. Being a part of the whole process again (singing, dancing and acting) has been so rewarding and absolutely amazing."
The theatre always calls for creativity, but this year Zac and the theatre students have had to employ an extra dose of it with virtual auditions and call backs over Zoom. They worked with the school nurses to determine how to safely hold rehearsals with choreography designed with social distancing at the forefront. They also needed to consider the safest way to sell tickets and seat audience members.
The show was a success with three sold out shows and patrons eager to see live theatre once again!
Photo credit: Tessa, Upper School Student
Video credit: Zac, Upper School Student
- fine arts