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Big Mary

May 17, 2010

I was chatting to an ARTech parent prior to Friday’s performance of Big Mary and he reminded me of a key reason for the success of Bob’s spring productions.   That is, Bob always seems to be able to pick plays that challenge the students and have themes which enable the drama to act as a teaching vehicle.   It’s a very intentional process for our theater director.

Anyone who attended Big Mary would certainly vouch for the success of this approach.  We had almost a third of our student population involved in the play. 6th graders and 12th graders shared the stage.   Quite remarkable.   Bob guided them through a tale that touched on deep themes of racial segregation,  gender issues and a community divided.  It was powerful stuff.   

The wonderful play we witnessed was the result of hours and hours of dedicated preparation by  Bob and his ensemble group.  The Great Room was packed on both evenings.   I particularly appreciated the question and answer session with the audience afterwards.   The student responses to the questions were insightful, and showed a deep understanding of the story they had wrestled with over the past few weeks.

The story of Big Mary might have focused in on a community divided, but it was strikingly obvious that a community of student actors, director and parent volunteers were united in bringing it to us.


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