At the end of November, BFA-Fairfax’s Dramatic Arts Ensemble successfully produced their 8th consecutive fall musical. Mary Poppins was brought to life on the stage by a cast of forty-five 6th-12th graders.
Our small school is fortunate to have a strong commitment to the dramatic arts as well as many extremely talented students, both theatrically and vocally, to fill the stage. Many of the actors and actresses began their delve into the theater arts by participating in the Elementary Drama Club in third grade.
Because of the consistent ongoing drama programs, students can have the opportunity to discover their love for the stage early in elementary and then work at developing and refining the art as they move through middle and high school. Watching this process, we are repeatedly reminded that acting on stage is empowering, gratifying, and fun for students of all ages. They absolutely love being on the stage and enveloping themselves in the characters they portray. It’s part of their being once it’s discovered.
In producing each fall musical, they work hard and focus their efforts to bring you a quality show that entertains – a show they can take pride in. Work begins in August when they attend a week of Choreography Camp to learn the dance numbers.
From there, they practice and rehearse tirelessly through November to perfect their performances. Teamwork and mentoring are essential to their success, with both serving as a positive reflection on all of the important social and life skills they have been learning throughout their time in school.
The Fairfax community should be very proud of the student-led productions that continue to be produced. In addition to the students that are seen on the stage, many students behind the scenes are involved. A Set Design class works at developing and crafting the set pieces so the students in the backstage crew can move them for each scene.
The choreography is also developed and taught solely by students, and members of the cast handle most of their own stage direction. Some even dabble in costumes and learn how to apply their own stage make-up prior to each show.
The vast varieties of skills learned by these students through their involvement in the dramatic arts are not ones that can necessarily be taught in a classroom. These are skills that they can proudly take forward and apply in many diverse spheres as they move through life.
We are honored to be able to provide this experience for students and engage our community in this exciting celebration of the arts.