Our Town according to Musical Theatre

‘Our Town’ according to Musical Theatre

This piece was submitted by Anabel Magers (10, J&C)

The freshman Musical Theatre class of Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS) performed a mostly student-written show of “Our Town Louisville”, on Friday, May 17 at 5 p.m., under the direction of Georgette Kleier, Musical Theatre teacher, in the YPAS experimental theater.

The play explored three major themes: life, love, and death.

The show is devised theatre, which mean each of the students wrote part of the performance, and Kleier wrote the transitions, while adding adapted scenes from Thornton Wilder’s original piece.

“She put in scenes from the original “Our Town”, so there is still that familiarity for the people who know that show.” Braedan Criss (9, YPAS) said.

Students were prompted with questions relation to how they would react to a death of a loved one, which eventually, after some editing, made it into the final script.

“Our goodbye speeches have the potential to be very powerful.” Olivia Manning (9, YPAS) said.

The show was taken in well by the audience, especially other YPAS students.

“The freshman did a great job in expressing their personal thoughts towards a classic piece and made the story their own.” Brooklyn Durs (10, YPAS) said.

“‘Our Town’ is about understanding that our time here is limited and that we should serve one another and the earth. Everybody is carrying a story inside them and we don’t know what that story is.” Kleier said, “So kindness matters. It really does.”

The YPAS musical theatre class on 2022 has a total of nine kids, and only two of which are boys.

“Having a small class makes it easier to be onstage because you know there are people to support you.” Emma Redmon (9, YPAS) said.

“I feel like we have a good combination of excited and nervous.” Heaven Williams (9, YPAS) said.

Ms. Kleier has worked with this class all year practicing ensemble in order to create an environment in which the students feel comfortable messing up, but are also held accountable to each other.

“They know these nine people have each other’s back.” Kleier said.

“I feel really relieved that the first show is over because it’s always easier after the first show is done.” Ethan Young (9, YPAS) said. “I feel like it was good.”

This show was his first with YPAS.

The 2018-2019 school year is Kleier’s last year with YPAS, after being part of the faculty for 15 years; and the show was one of the last she directed for the school.

However she has passed her skills on to her students. She created two directing classes during her third year at YPAS.

“Directing allows them to cultivate another skill set, and see the creative process in a whole new way.” Kleier said.

The even thought of leaving her students at YPAS makes Kleier teary eyed; but she wants someone younger in the position.

“It’s bittersweet.” Kleier said.

Kleier teaches all of the musical theatre majors during their freshman year, and each year YPAS musical theatre freshman perform a workshop for any and all to see.

This is a highlight for many Musical Theatre majors at the end of their first year in the program because they get to incorporate a bit of themselves into the play, and adapt better to the environment that YPAS presents.

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