Summer Program 2021
Summer Originals 2.0
Stellaluna and Wumps World, two well received original AAIACE musicals selected from our 2019 summer camp, will be restaged for our 2021 summer program. Our dance instructors will direct students in Jazz Dance, while interpreting the creative movements of wild animals and fantastical “Wump” creatures. Our music instructor will guide students to analyze the bat’s natural habitat, and together the class will discover some of the rhythms and tones that nature has to offer. Students will learn to integrate elements from diverse musical traditions and instruments, such as African drums, violins, and 古琴/Gu Qin (a plucked seven-string Chinese instrument) into their original compositions. Our design artists will continue sharing the principles of design, color, contrast, structure, and other concepts.
This story of friendship and acceptance by Janell Cannon provides scope for the imagination as we follow the young fruit bat “Stellaluna” on her journey through a bird’s natural habitat. While Stellaluna is separated from her mother she learns to adopt new ways, all the while discovering instinctual behaviors that prove equally valuable in the long run. Here we learn the importance of finding common ground amidst differences, while retaining our own unique identities.
Wumps World 2.0
This ecological story by Bill Peet focuses on a species called “Wumps” who live on their very own planet. When the blue humanoid “Pollutians” arrive, they do what their name suggests; they pollute. Through the lens of an alternate reality, we come to empathize with the frightened Wumps as their planet suffers loss of fauna and fresh air, and is gradually covered in cement. The story spreads awareness and suggests a call to action as it parallels our own environmental dilemma on Earth.
Original Productions 2021
We have chosen two well-known stories representing east and west, the past and the present. One story is based on a real heroine from Chinese history. The other is a work of contemporary fiction, written by British novelist Roald Dahl.
Set in the Northern and Southern Chinese dynasty era (4th-6th Centuries), this ancient legend depicts heroic defiance against patriarchal oppression. Young Mulan takes her elderly father’s place in the imperial army by disguising herself as a man, and despite countless obstacles, she brings honor to her family and to herself. Channeling Mulan’s brave energy, our movement instructor will incorporate traditional Chinese dance and martial arts. Teaching original composition, our music instructor will feature and integrate elements of nature, prairie folk melodies, and Northern Chinese instruments. Our design artist will introduce basic design principles, including color, contrast, and structure, and will guide students to create Mulan’s headgear and armor using found objects, such as paper and string.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Written by British novelist Roald Dahl, this story follows the adventures of Charlie Bucket, a young boy living in poverty with his parents and four bed-ridden grandparents. Despite hardships, Charlie wins a tour of the world-famous Chocolate Factory, owned by the mysterious Willy Wonka. On the tour, the boy resists greed even as his peers give in to their weaknesses. Charlie’s kindness and honesty inadvertently earn him the grand prize: a chocolate factory inheritance. With playful wonder, our acting instructor will lead students in games to explore improvisation and the “crown” technique. Students will also learn and practice street dance, which will be taught by our movement instructor. Our design instructor will guide students in the imaginative arts of mask-making and puppetry.
We salute the masters! One of the best ways to learn in the performing arts is to study masterpieces. We define musical masterpieces as those that have earned prestigious awards, such as the Tony Award (U.S.) and the Olivier Award (U.K.). In 2021, our faculty and student teams will assemble condensed versions of the award-winning musicals Matilda and Cats. These will be creative endeavors to celebrate the astounding dance, music, acting, and design feats from some of the most revered productions in musical history.
This exciting take on Roald Dahl’s novel, Matilda, brings the young protagonist to life on the performative stage through song and dance. Matilda is born with an astute mind and supernatural powers, but is under-appreciated by the people in her life. With her bookworm smarts and a bit of magic, Matilda thrives despite relocation, marginalization, and bullying. Backed by one kind-hearted teacher and a cohort of peers, Matilda overcomes injustice and proves that strength lies as much in numbers as it does in the spirit of individual determination. Written by Dennis Kelly, with music by Tim Minchin and choreography by Peter Darling, Matilda the Musical has received over a dozen awards, including seven Olivier Awards and a Tony Award for Best New Musical and a Grammy Award nomination for Best Album.
Enter the fascinating realm of cats in this imaginative musical, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, designed by John Napier, and inspired by T.S. Elliot’s poetry collection, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Featuring sensational furry costumes and refreshing playfulness, this production emphasizes the dramatic nature of the feline even as it hints at the human experience, big feelings and all. With underlying philosophical nuance, the story touches upon concepts of inequality, heaven, conscience, and memory, while remaining true to the energetic vibrancy of the musical stage. Cats is the fourth-longest-running Broadway show, spanning over two decades in London, and receiving over a dozen awards, including a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.