After a long and restful Spring Break, we returned this week refreshed and looking forward to the homestretch leading to the end of the year. At Morning Meeting on Monday, we talked about the many, many events that occur between now and then, such as track meets, Derby events (especially the Kindergarten Derby!), talent shows, the 8th grade Capstone Projects Showcase, camping trips, dances both “cute” (Parent-Daughter Dance) and “serious” (7th/8th Grade Formal), just to name a few! All ultimately lead to Class Day, Red/Blue Field Day, our Final Assembly and, of course, the Goshen Campus Graduation. Not to mention the hustle and bustle of everyday life and learning at St. Francis, of course!
But before we move onto all of the upcoming events, I want to take a quick look back at our spring musical, The Sound of Music. If you didn’t get the chance to see the show, it was staged in the huge auditorium of Old Male High School (seating capacity of 1,538!). This allowed our cast and crew of 56 to perform in a different style of theater than the one to which they are accustomed. As I commented on in curtain speeches, with our theater expansion and front lobby renovation going on all year, we’ve now done four SFS drama productions in four different locations. This includes the summer alumni show, Getting Out, at Baron’s Theater Downtown, The Odd Couple on our Downtown Campus, Seussical KIDS at Gingerwoods, and The Sound of Music at Old Male. And while this has certainly been challenging, it has also been a tremendously growth-producing experience for our kids, teaching them adaptability, resourcefulness, and resiliency. But enough from me – here are some parting comments from some of our 8th graders on either this production or their experience with drama at St. Francis:
“I wouldn’t have the memories that I have today, or my talents, if I didn’t do the play in the first place. The first time I joined the play I was in 5th grade, and that’s the first time I auditioned, too. When the list came out of who was in the play, I was absolutely excited, that’s when all of it began. I have many great memories throughout my years at St. Francis, and some of my best are from the plays. Acting with all of my friends and learning how to become different characters on stage will be one of the things I will miss most about St. Francis School. Throughout my roles, whether I’m a ditzy secretary, giggly English girl, or a rich girlfriend living in Austria, Mr. Gabhart has always encouraged me to put my best foot forward, and has taught me so many things through my St. Francis experience. I will miss putting on plays with all of you, and never forget my special moments and memories here.” – Emma Rose Farber
“The first musical theater camp I participated in at SFS I did not want to do. My mom forced me to do it and every day I am grateful that she did. I think that the SFS drama program is truly special. Most of the kids who participate in the program do it because they love the feeling of being a part of something special. The Sound of Music was an amazing production both on and off the stage. The rehearsals, though sometimes a mess, were always full of fun, joy, and learning. Looking back on my experience in the show, I realize how many memories I made. I got closer with kids in the lower grades and in my own; some kids who I’ve been going to school for years with and never knew. This program is a safe place. I know that I can go up to any of those people who were in the show with me and they would be there for me. – Catherine Dewberry
In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, “If that isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” And if you haven’t taken a peek into one of the portholes recently to see the progress on the new theater, you should do so. It is really taking shape and the excitement is rising as we finish this year and look ahead to next!