Storytelling is a vital part of the human condition. It is how we know our history, and how we learn from that history; how we begin to connect with others, and how we start to create a world that could be. The first stories were not written, they were told and shown; chanted and sung. Theater takes us back to the very roots of our evolution as humans, and allows us to be a part of great stories that have shaped our world.
Saklan’s Middle School students have been exploring those concepts by creating a production of West Side Story-School Edition. They began with self-identification exercises, and then connected the mental portraits of themselves to the characters in the play. They auditioned and were assigned roles, and began the process of telling this beautiful story.
West Side Story is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and takes place in New York City in the 1950’s. The themes of this show tie in with the 8th grade Humanities curriculum, and involve Immigration and race relations, as well as generational gap issues; themes that are incredibly relevant in our students world.
While creating the show, we have formed a relationship with the dance studio Joy In Motion and our Middle School students have been exploring storytelling through dance firsthand. We would like to invite you into our rehearsal process by viewing the video above. And then would like to invite you to share this story by clicking this link, which will allow you to purchase tickets.