For the first time since March 2020, Bay Ridge Prep students are performing live in front of audiences. Although precautions are still in place - limited capacities, audiences in masks, vaccine and testing requirements, and some use of outdoor spaces - it is another sign of a return to pre-pandemic school life.
The Junior Thespian Troupe in the Middle School opened the return to live performances with a fall showcase of monologues and short scenes written for teenagers in an outdoor event for families on November 15. Fifth Grade students are hard at work on their production of “Around the World in 8 Plays”, a comedy where a band of players take the audience on a journey as they explore forgotten myths and unusual legends from around the world. Their production will be performed in person for families December 15-16. Meanwhile, 7th and 8th grade students are looking forward to their own production this spring and are also exploring piano and ukulele performance as well as music composition, recording, production, and arranging in their music classes.
Upper School students are currently in rehearsal for “Radium Girls”, a dramatic play about a dark chapter in United States history, to be performed indoors in front of small audiences December 2-3. Every day in rehearsal, students are making discoveries and finding more complexity in their character relationships in ways that only happen through live, experiential practice. Being able to be together in person again has led to a resurgence of collaborative creativity among the Upper School students across the board, leading to the creation of a new club where students write and film their own scripts, as well as the selection of overwhelmingly hands on projects for Theatre Club including a sustainable costume design challenge to be hosted later this school year.
Also being staged at the Upper School this year is the Winter Music and Dance Recital, a talent showcase that students will perform during the school day with a run from December 15-16. The recital will include some of the great jazz standards played by the Jazz Ensemble; clever arrangements of well known tunes with a jazzy twist played by the Jazz Combo; an endearing collaboration between the Contemporary Music Ensemble and the Bay Ridge Prep Dancers; and an original composition, “In The Cold”, written and performed by Matthew Barraclough ‘22.
Looking ahead to Spring 2021, the Upper School Arts Department will stage a production of In the spring we will be putting on a production of “Puffs or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic”, which will draw on collaborations with several student clubs to create an experience that extends beyond the performances themselves into the greater school community.
Founded in 1998, Bay Ridge Prep is an independent, K-12 college preparatory school offering exceptional courses and intimate class sizes in a socially-mature and positive environment.