The End of the World… Or is it? Grade 4 and 5 Musical

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The notion of the end of the world may seem like a weighty theme for a school musical, but not when crafted by Elementary School Music teacher Suzanne Higgins and brought to life by a group of enthusiastic and eager 4th and 5th graders!

This original production featured lively show-stopping songs, dynamic choreography, and striking projections that engaged the audience with its story and themes. Touching on topics such as environmental awareness, air pollution, social media, and excessive screen time, the musical delivered powerful messages. What’s truly impressive is that this production was entirely created during After school Activities time in Season 1 and 2 of this year, comprising fewer than 15 sessions.

The students dazzled us with their captivating performance of four friends and a cast of quirky characters, from an AI robot to a pod of dolphins and a group of electrons to name a few, as they embark on an adventure to save the world from human-caused destruction.  Along the way, the friends learn about the power of renewable energy, the impact of plastic pollution, the dangers of phone addiction, and the importance of teamwork and friendship. 

“I chose the themes of environmental destruction and social connectivity because I wanted the musical to have a strong message.  These are two of the most urgent issues in the world today, and children even as young as these 4th and 5th graders have to face them.  The students rose to the challenge!”

Suzanne Higgins, ES Music Teacher

“Being in the play was really exciting and really fun. The part I enjoyed most was singing the last song – it reminded me how much I love to be on stage. I learned that you can’t always count on others to learn their lines immediately but you have to just trust them to do it in the end.”

Ayla, Grade 5

“The AI is kind of a mysterious character, and I could really change his voice up because he is a robot. I could have a lot of fun with it, so that was nice.”

Vahe, Grade 4

Supporting the success of our students was a strong team of talented teachers behind the scenes.  Suzanne Higgins describes the collaboration as “absolutely brilliant!” With her background in performing arts, Ms. Ashley Eames, our PYP Learning Coach, provided students with tips and tricks for feeling confident on stage, along with guidance and support on their performance. Ms. Corky Hawkins, the ES Counselor, brought her extensive experience and knowledge as a dancer to the stage and created the choreography for the show.  

“It was overwhelming and a little bit nerve-wracking, but also very exciting! It was cool to see everyone’s faces and how they would react to what we were doing on stage.  So in the beginning, I was really nervous, but in the end, I felt carefree.”

Zoe, Grade 5

“I learned that when you’re nervous, you just breathe it out, and after the first word, you’ll get less nervous and less nervous.  After I got used to it, I started to like acting and wanted to do it more and more.  It was very fun.”

Alex, Grade 5

In addition to the core group of teachers, we extend immense gratitude to our Upper School students, Bennett and Jan, who designed the background screen projections and the lights, Mr. Andy Schofield, who orchestrated all of the songs and composed all the incidental music, and Mr. Josh Stewart, who coordinated the production team. Dr Elizabeth Perry for designing A.I.s hat and the dolphin heads, and Ms CK for being our fossil fuel expert, filmed by Ms Garrett. We also extend our appreciation to the parents of students who supported their children in participating in the musical.

As anyone who has ever felt the thrill of adrenaline from stepping on stage knows, being a part of a live production is a feeling unlike any other. There’s a magic that overtakes the audience when the house lights dim and the stage lights illuminate; a magic of storytelling, of imagination, and perhaps in this case, the magic of witnessing children confidently embody what it means to be brave, be artists, and be changemakers.

In the end, it turns out that it’s not quite “The End of the World,” but rather the beginning of an era where our children emerge as the heroes of the story.