Students at Park Manor Senior School are ready to show off their artistic talents.
On Monday evening they’re welcoming the public into the Elmira school for an Arts Night put together by the Grade 7 and 8 students.
Teacher Ted Frey explains it’s meant to be a casual event where parents and the community can spend an hour listening to music, watching a short theatrical production, and viewing student-made art.
Frey says this is the first time they’ve held the arts night like this with a wide variety of artistic endeavors on display.
“This year we’re trying to broaden it out and get more in. I always like doing something different,” Frey said.
Last year they did a drama and music night, but they’re incorporating more elements this year. Students are also going to be doing clay sculpturing and oil painting.
The drama students started working on the play right after Christmas. Frey built the set over March Break which will be moved into the gym for the evening. They’ve been practicing four days a week for an hour before school to get the short play ready to present to the public.
“It’s an adaptation of The New Tenant by Eugène Ionesco who is Czech who wrote in French in Paris in the ‘50s. We have an English translation which we have taken and packed it into 15 minutes and tried to keep the spirit of the play as best we could,” Frey said.
The play is theatre of the absurd, where a caretaker talks to a gentleman while movers continuously bring furniture into the gentleman’s new apartment. The movers move on stage in harmony with the music, creating the feeling of ballet on stage.
They actually have two casts for the play because some students can’t make it to the Monday night event, due to other prior commitments. They’re hoping to present the play again with the second cast.
The orchestra will be performing three pieces.
“They’re playing Frère Jacques by Mahler, they’re playing Dance from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff and they’re doing a folk song – a bagpipe tune,” Frey explained.
Some students will also be doing solos, particularly students who want to practice pieces before they perform in the Kiwanis Music Festival.
“We wanted to keep it casual so if some of the students want to perform a solo, there might be a group of people looking at the clay over there while the solo’s happening over here. It takes the pressure off completely because the last thing you want to do is put students out and have them not have a good experience. You want them to enjoy what they’re doing.”
The Arts Night will be held May 1 from 7-8 p.m. at Park Manor Senior School. It’s open to the public and admission is free.