Two Grade 5 Students Receive Community of Respect Award
During the last Lower School assembly of the school year, Head of Lower School Dr. Cricket Mikheev, with the help of last year's awardees Jaydon and Skylar, presented the Community of Respect Award to Grade 5 students Milagros and Luca.
A Q&A with Choreographer for the Pittsburgh Production of the Tony-Award Winning Musical, Fun Home
Sewickley Academy’s new Theater Arts Director Joe Jackson choreographed the Pittsburgh production of the Tony-Award winning musical, Fun Home.
Tell us about the show. What drew/attracted you to this project?
Fun Home is a compelling story of trying to find the truth through memories of the past. It is the first musical written with a queer female protagonist, and boldly and unapologetically examines the realities and challenges of coming out.
I was approached by the producers and director to choreograph the production because of my experience choreographing various ages at Sewickley Academy. Fun Home has three young actors in the show that sing and dance, so I was perfectly suited to work with them. I was excited for this opportunity as well, because I have seen the show on Broadway and regionally, and was overwhelmed with the story. It has great heart and compassion, but also compelling moments of suspense and grief. To me, it is a perfect blend of entertainment and art.
You choreographed the production. What was your inspiration? What styles of dance are incorporated into the show?
The show takes place in various moments of flashbacks and current day, but the entire dance moments occur in the 1970's. In researching the production, the lead character watched many variety-style shows (like Sonny and Cher), as well as the Brady Bunch and the Partridge Family. Therefore, the choreography needed to reflect this time period and the shows that she was watching. The biggest dance moment is during a fun number called "Raincoat of Love," which utilized a lot of disco steps. It was enlightening to learn that many of the actors in these shows were not very good dancers! They hired dancers to come in and dance around the main actors when needed. Because of this, the choreography in our production focuses on fun and not difficult steps.
What do you think audiences should look forward to most in this show?
Great question! I think everyone will have a different take away from this show. Students will undoubtedly connect better with medium Alison's struggles and discovers while at college. Parents will probably connect with the struggles Bruce and Helen deal with trying to parent when they don't always have the answers. Then, I think anyone who is queer or has friends or family who are queer will connect with Alison's excitement and struggle of coming out.
You were named the new Director of Theater Arts at Sewickley Academy. What are you looking forward to most in this new role?
I am so excited to use my new position to continue to foster relationships with our entire community. Overseeing all major productions will allow for more consistency throughout the three divisions, and will hopefully allow more overlap of both student and parent assistance. One of my main goals is to create a Performing Arts Booster Club to support all of our productions. This will not be a financial group, but instead a volunteer organization designed to tap into the resources of our talented community. I look forward to sharing more information later this fall! Thank you to the administration and the wonderful SA community for your years of support, and I am excited for the next stage in our journey together.
Fun Home runs from August 16 – 25, 2019, at the New Hazlett Theater. For tickets and to learn more, visit www.frontporchpgh.com.