Delaforum

Commentary

July  2008

 

A group of enthusiastic youngsters took an at-best mediocre and long outdated play and turned it into a highly enjoyable romp. Elvis Presley -- not to mention dial telephones and poodle skirts -- may belong in their grandparents' memories, but some 75 students stepped easily back into the '50s and provided the folks who qualified as seniors and got in for half price a delightful look in the mirror at themselves.

An encore standing ovation goes to the cast and crew of 'Bye, Bye, Birdie', a summer-enrichment project of the Brandywine School District. At the risk of an unintended slight to others who displayed their talent on the stage at Mount Pleasant High School, we applaud Kendra Eckbold, Jordan Weagraff, Emily Ozer, Maggie Davis and Kenyon Parson who, individually and collectively, were outstanding when measured at any performance level.

Director Tina Sheing was nothing short of inspirational to the kids. Choreographer Angela Bates Majewski not only kept a giant cast on its toes, but along the way inserted two original ballets into the Gower Champion musical. The idea to put on a summer show, we're told, was yet another welcome innovation originating with schools superintendent Jim Scanlon. Tom Alderson, the district's fine arts supervisor, picked up the ball and ran with it.

We qualify our congratulations for a near-flawless production with a continuing lament for the fact that quality academic theater receives nowhere near the support and patronage it deserves. Sadly, it has yet to be discovered by those who are all but shut out by the outrageous prices the professionals charge these days. (CLICK HERE to read related Delaforum article.)

    

They came to talk about discipline in the Brandywine School District and, among other things, agreed that in-school behavior is largely influenced by what a youngster learns and experiences at home. There also was a consensus that telling students what is expected by posting key rules in the classrooms will go a long way toward having the rules obeyed.

While that discussion was going on, a dozen vehicles belonging to participants in the session were waiting outside Brandywine High School, parked in the clearly-marked fire lane under signs identifying it as a no-parking zone.

2008. All rights reserved.
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