The leadership of Ancillae-Assumpta Academy has long believed that the performing, creative, and visual arts provide children with meaningful learning experiences that connect their bodies, hearts, and minds. Sr. Elizabeth McCoy, the Academy’s first Principal and Director, was a big proponent of “talent education”. She knew that a fine arts education helps develop an appreciation of beauty, gives a sense of purpose to life, and offers the opportunity and discipline of acquiring new skills. It is no surprise then, that one of the pillars of the fine arts program – the annual Spring Show – will mark its 50th anniversary this year!
In the early years, shows included snippets of favorite musicals, with narration woven between scenes to create an annual theme. In 2003 with the completion of the McCoy Center auditorium, the Spring Show debuted it’s first Broadway-inspired production. From a curricular standpoint, moving from a variety show to a Broadway musical offered a greater opportunity for students to learn and understand the concepts of music, dance, and theater - how they fit together interdependently. Time in music class could be utilized to prepare for and execute auditions and rehearsals, and instructors had the advantage of teaching the themes of the musical from a historical and cultural perspective.
These thematic lessons are still taught today. While the music faculty is preparing the students for the show during their classes, students are creating projects that tie into the show in art class. According to Madeline Hlywiak, the show’s producer since 2011, for Pinnochio, Jr., students studied puppets from around the world, and each grade created different types of puppets. For The Lion King, Jr., students were exposed to African art, and created African masks. The art faculty drew inspiration from The Wizard of Oz to teach drawing lessons. The younger children drew lions, tigers, and bears, while the older students drew graphite portraits of the main characters.
Take a deeper look into what goes into the making of our Spring Show...