The AVS Drama Club recently performed two shows to critical acclaim and a full house: Shrek and Harriet the Spy.
“Who the man??” “Shrek the man!” Leo N. as Shrek and Daniel Z. as Donkey led the audience on a fun romp through a fractured fairy tale based on the DreamWorks Animation motion picture and the book by William Steig. Unlike Lord Farquad, (Jonah C.) the sold-out crowd was not short-changed as the cast sang and danced and entertained on a quest for true love. Ruby S. dazzled as Princess Fiona assumed love’s true form. For the first time, members of the AVS Drama Club flexed their vocal cords with a musical performance. The ensemble cast played multiple parts and had the audience singing along to “I’m a Believer” as the show concluded.
Harriet the Spy, based on the book by Louse Fitzhugh, showcased the AVS Middle School actors’ flair for creating colorful characters. Director Katie McGee skillfully coaxed exceptional performances from her middle school actors, particularly Kokwe D. who portrayed the bold and intelligent Harriet. As McGee notes: “To me, a great deal of middle school is about discovering your uniqueness, your community, your impact and your values. Harriet remains a middle school hero because, despite her faults, she is true to herself.”
Cook (Gabe F.) provided some comic relief as the audience squirmed in their seats over some of Harriet’s antics. Some of the play’s most tender moments occurred between Harriet and Ole Gollie (Ember K.C.). As Sport (Jaden K.) and Janie (Ava G.) reconciled their differences with Harriet, everyone learned a valuable lesson about truth, friendship, kindness and cruelty. In addition to the performance, the young actors participated in a character analysis project, attempting to understand their characters motives, intentions and how they relate to others in the story.
Directors Katie McGee and Sarah Kronisch have elevated the bar for school theater, and the audience expects more great performances in the future.