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HomeArtChocachatti Elementary School Reaches its “Goal”

Chocachatti Elementary School Reaches its “Goal”

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Soccer, or as it’s called football in almost every other country of the world, has become a popular sport in the United States over the past thirty years or so. It’s played in schools and in community leagues by both children and adults. Some girls now aspire to be the next Mia Hamm and some boys might want to become the next Antonee Robinson. It’s only fitting, then, that Chocachatti Elementary School’s most recent production scored a “goal” for students and parents.

All the third graders participated in some way in the play “Goal.” Some had speaking parts, and some performed dance routines, while others made up the chorus. Those who did not appear on stage worked on lighting and sound.

These productions are a joint effort of Irmarie Kraft, Rhonda Bowers, and Nancy Kraus. Marianne Poholek and Jennifer Flaherty are drama, dance, music, art, and PE instructors, respectively. The show also required the cooperation and help of the parents and the third-grade teachers−Marsha Eicholtz, Crystal Hyde, Deborah Koenig, Donna McCane, Kimberly Paolillo, Amanda Prewitt, and Eric Tyree. The first show, which took place during school hours, was for all the students and served as a dress rehearsal. The evening show was for the family and friends.

Ms. Irmarie Kraft, aka “Drama Mama,” worked with her students to learn their lines, respond to cues, do blocking, and other elements of drama. “The most rewarding part is seeing the students’ growth from the practices’ start to the performances’ end. You can see their confidence grow as they successfully complete their show,” stated Ms. Kraft.

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You could see the excitement on the children’s faces as they performed. There was no sign of nervousness or anxiety. This is probably because many of these children have been performing since they were in first grade. The hours and weeks of practice contribute to this confidence, as well.

Gatlin Squires, who played the coach, had a lead role. He got to sing, dance and speak several lines.
“My favorite part was how I act when I change from being a nice guy to when I hear all the kids whining and I turn angry,” Gatlin remarked. “It was a little tough memorizing my lines at the beginning,” he admitted, “but I got it down.”

Elliette Sloan, who played Picky Patty, commented, “She [Picky Patty] doesn’t get what’s so beautiful about soccer, but she changes her mind at the end.”

Ellie McCabe portrayed Kim, one of the soccer players. “She’s trying to make Picky Patty know that soccer is a beautiful game and she helps Picky Patty change her mind. Soccer makes friends come together and people around the world can be friends,” remarked Ellie.

Charlotte Mazza played Mia, who also helps show that Picky Patty is wrong and that soccer is a “beautiful game,” a phrase coined by soccer great Pelé. “I like best that I get to help someone change their mind,” said Charlotte.

Kinsley Gore, who played the assistant coach, stated, “I have to help Picky Patty out because she’s so confused. She [the assistant coach] is funny. That’s what I liked about the part.”

Sorelle Schneider portrays Alex Morgan, an actual professional woman soccer player. “She helps everyone learn what she does. She’s very famous and has a lot of fans. I watch a lot of soccer on TV. I like to watch the women and the men play,” said Sorelle.

The songs that the children sing range from the rousing “Waka Waka,” which has a decidedly African beat, to “The Beautiful Game,” which has a Latin sound. There are other songs that are familiar to all of us, such as “Eye of the Tiger.”

The dances are varied and spirited. Several of the children do cartwheels and splits. I didn’t see anyone out of step. As in all of Chocachatti’s performances, there is a theme and a moral to “Goal.” It teaches valuable life lessons, such as cooperation and the unity of all people, no matter their nationality.

These lessons are expressed in some of the lines from the play:
“When we work together, none of us are the same. It’s not about glory, money or fame.”
“Cheers for us. We’ll do our best. Cheers for us and all the rest.”

Besides Alex Morgan, several famous soccer players make an appearance. These include Christiano Ronaldo and the immortal Pelé. One of the most inspirational parts of the production occurs when the children carry flags of various nations, demonstrating that soccer brings people together from all over the world.

From the reactions of the performers and the audience, it was evident that this production reached its “goal” of entertaining, inspiring and educating the audience. It also gave the performers an opportunity to develop confidence and practice teamwork.

(L-R) Liam Milano, Adaleigh Schlechter [Credit: Sarah Nachin]
(L-R) Liam Milano, Adaleigh Schlechter [Credit: Sarah Nachin]
Lucas Walsh [Credit: Sarah Nachin]
Lucas Walsh [Credit: Sarah Nachin]
(L-R) Jacy Sullivan, Cole Mendoza, Tonilyn Alarcon [Credit: Sarah Nachin]
(L-R) Jacy Sullivan, Cole Mendoza, Tonilyn Alarcon [Credit: Sarah Nachin]

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