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HomeArtWider Horizons School’s Annual Friday Night Live: A Well-Oiled Production & School...

Wider Horizons School’s Annual Friday Night Live: A Well-Oiled Production & School Tradition

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By MAXIMO MAGLIO
Photography by Hanna Maglio

On Friday, May 3, Wider Horizon School put on a stunning performance in their annual school play: Friday Night Live. From preschool to 12th grade, every student from the school participated in the production.

Friday Night Live is a school tradition and community members who may not even have students in the school come to see what the young minds of Wider Horizons will come up with. The production is an eclectic mix of song, dance and humorous skits, some of which are a commentary on current events and the craziness of modern times.

The preschoolers sang a couple of songs and the cuteness factor made up for their difficulties with the songs. A notable difference can be recognized in the kindergartners and first graders who showed an ability to harmonize with each other and they sang like real professionals. The lower elementary class performed like a well-oiled machine as they put on quite the show. Lower elementary students sang two patriotic songs and participated in “The Evolution of Dance,” which was a series of dances that were recently popular. Fourth grade and up produced a variety of humorous skits that had the audience cracking up.

Each student in the older grades provides scripts for skit ideas. The kids then work to refine these skits so they can be used in the play. Sometimes, a joke might just need a little rewording or the addition of a new element. Sometimes if there are multiple skits that are similar, they are combined by the director Mrs. Julie T. Maglio. Her part in the production is one of great importance. She organizes everybody and all the skits, all while teaching the students how to vocalize and emphasize, among other skills essential to theater.

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The students also suggested songs and dances. For instance, 11th grader Chase J. Ghingher presented the idea of singing a modified “Welcome to the Internet” song. The song has some risque elements that needed to be changed and a keyboard player and singers were added. Often, the genesis of a dance will be props that are available. If there are multicolored grass skirts, that may be the inspiration for a song and a dance.

Some comments made by the students after the play were, “It taught me how to manage my time better and perform under pressure,” and “I enjoyed being part of the play and experiencing acting.”

The Friday Night Live production is, above all else, a great teaching experience for the students. It teaches them public speaking and theatrical skills that many go for a lifetime without learning. Most people have a natural inclination towards fearing public speaking and the play does a great job of helping Wider Horizon School students confront this fear.

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