Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

The Real Talent Show!

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Such talent! Yesterday’s annual Talent Show was a glorious event! As proud as I am of this year’s wonderful participants, I am even more pleased with our Kindergarten through Eighth Grade audience, with their smiles and hands ready to clap throughout the two-hour event!
From concert-level piano performances to Knock-Knock jokes, our children entertained and delighted us as they shared their many talents.
Innovative technology was put to use by Ms. Shirley Omori, enabling families to view the Talent Show via “Instagram Live.” We heard from parents, a former teacher in Texas, and a former student attending school in Switzerland – all watching our amazing Talent Show LIVE!

Second Graders Present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Our Second Graders wowed their audience yesterday afternoon in the Amphitheater with their presentation of Shakespeare’s classic comedy. With an abbreviated scrip interspersed with current observations, the action was fast-paced. Confidence and individual personalities were obvious as these young thespians demanded, swooned, rebuffed, slept, and even (very briefly) left mortality in this delightful presentation! One child’s head even temporarily morphed into a donkey’s! But after all, it was just a dream.
“It’s amazing,” remarked one of the Second Grader’s grandmothers, “that these young children can learn all these lines so well. They were obviously enjoying themselves. And with this experience, they should have no trouble speaking in front of large groups in the future.”
Having mastered the characters of Hermia, Lysander, Puck, Titania, Bottom, and many more, these Second Graders are well prepared for future roles in Peninsula Heritage productions and beyond.
Thanks go to Mrs. Esturain for her love of Shakespeare in inaugurating this wonderful event, and to Miss Mervette and Miss Carolina for their assistance in working with the Second Graders. Gratitude is also extended to Mr. Charley Miller for the perfectly timed lullaby music in the sleep scenes, for the background music, and for the sound system!
Kudos to all for an event charmingly presented!

Second Grade’s Shakespeare Production

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

Shakespeare in Second Grade? Yes, at Peninsula Heritage School! Our Second Graders were recently immersed in studying the Bard, his time period, and his works. Directed by their teacher, Mrs. Esturain, the children created timelines with illustrations and built a personal model of the Globe Theater. Each student also read one of Shakespeare’s plays in story form. On “Shakespeare Craft Day” the Second Graders made masks, created flower crowns, and painted family coats of arms.
Using a children’s script of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the students took ownership of their parts while rehearsing and memorizing their lines. With musical assistance from Mr. Charley
Miller, and backstage costume changes with Miss Mervette and Miss Carolina, this magical production in our Amphitheater was enthusiastically received by parents and PHS students.
“This experience helped to increase the children’s confidence,” relates Mrs. Esturain, “and also formed a foundation for understanding Shakespeare’s works.”
Successful productions are followed by great after-parties, and this was no exception. Volunteer parents Mrs. Merilee Brooks and Mrs. Latifa Willoughby helped prepare the red carpet sprinkled with stars leading into the classroom where a tasty selection of cupcakes with butterflies and flowers, Pinkberry frozen yogurt, and delicious fresh fruit awaited these young thespians and Shapespeare scholars.

The Story Behind the Scenes

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

“This is the 13th year of the Fifth Grade Play,” relates Fifth Grade teacher Ms. Kimarie Lynn, “and each year this musical is very different from the others! We specifically tailor each year’s production to the interests and talents of the students and the personality of that particular Fifth Grade class.””
“There are no auditions for the roles – the students pick their characters,” continues Ms. Lynn. “Most of them have gone to the play in prior years and have already selected the roles they wish to play. With new students, I give them a DVD of the play from last year, ask them to watch it at home, and then they choose who they wish to portray. We make sure that there are no minor roles in this musical; every student has an opportunity in the spotlight.
“In addition, the production itself changes each year. Ms. Kat Banales is masterful at sprinkling into the script little bits of very current American culture or adapting the dialogue to fit a student’s desire to take on more lines. Mr. Miller knows the students’ voices from Music Class, and he makes suggestions for solos and duets. Ms. Deb Wilcox designs new choreography that enhances each student’s dancing talent on the stage of the Norris Theatre. Almost every year we change the quantity of production numbers, the duration of the musical, and the number of transitions in front of the curtain. Ms. Terry Metzenbaum handles a myriad of tasks including costumes and props, and this year Mr. Zach Lorenz joined our team and was superb in coaching and instilling within our students the very human aspect of American history.”
“The students truly learn early American history as well as the flow or timeline of the events in that period,” Ms. Lynn relates. “They recognize the actions that led to the consequences of that time. Of equal importance, they become more confident in their speaking skills in front of a group, realize the importance of preparation and practice, and come to truly enjoy the entire experience.”
“We have our Academy Awards on a day following the play, where each student sits on a stool in front of the class, and peers share positive experiences with this child that occurred during the practices and on performance night. There are no “bests” awarded – we feel that all the students have exhibited truly outstanding work.”
“Finally, the children write a five-paragraph reflective essay, sharing how they employed the school’s Six Character Qualities to achieve success throughout the entire production process!”
“We’ve found that this theatrical experience has far-reaching results; alumni who return often relate that this musical is their favorite PHS memory!”

The Beginning Was Here

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Her class’s performance at last year’s All-School Assembly was just the beginning! As part of her grade’s participation in the 2015 Fifth Grade Play, she had a taste of performing on the Norris Theatre stage. Recently this budding thespian portrayed one of the townspeople in “Beauty and the Beast,” presented by ENCORE, a South Bay theater group.
Her Cast Biography from the “Beauty and the Beast” printed program states that this First Grader at Peninsula Heritage School “loves to read and she loves music. Eden is excited to be a part of ‘Beauty and the Beast.’”
“I got to wear my costume in the play,” she explains. “It was a blue dress with a white apron!”
Eden continues, “Meetings for the next play at ENCORE begin on September 12th, but I am going to do theater camps this summer.”
Her goal? “I want to be a pro on stage!”
Thanks go to the PHS Performing Arts Department for igniting this interest within one of our young students.

Dads & Granddads Day

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Last Friday’s “Dads and Granddads Day” was perfectly beautiful in every way! Third Grader Tommy Rosso maturely took command as “Mrs. Cailler for the Day,” having enjoyed a delicious home-cooked meal last evening at the residence of our Head of School. (This opportunity is an auction item available each year at our PHS Spring Gala.)
We had many dads and granddads join us for a delicious breakfast on Friday morning, followed by interesting learning activities in the individual classrooms for our students and their guests. Our Assembly, focusing on the PHS Character Quality of Caring, featured our beautiful and handsome First Graders singing and dancing to this year’s musical theme of “Do-Whop.” The girls’ pink poodle skirts and the boys’ slicked-back hair and bow ties only added to this irresistible performance!

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