With Spring Break behind us, we’re back into the swing of things and moving full speed ahead to the end of the school year.
All of our departments are a flurry of creation as each prepares for spring and end-of-year events. While we are far from being back to normal, there is optimism in the air as inspiration, innovation, and imagination begin to supplant some of the dread and stagnancy of this pandemic time.
VPA Animators Win National Awards
Congratulations to Maren Timpe and Tallulah Bonifeld on the achievement of earning national medals in the 2021 Scholastic Arts and Writings Awards. The award puts the film (and students) in the TOP 1 percent of all entries received this year to the competition.
The winning piece, “Empty Nest,” won a Gold Medal and American Visions Medal in the Film and Animation category. Ms. Lori Burton was the supervising teacher and won a teacher award for the honor.
The film was completed in 2020 as a collaboration with children’s book author and illustrator Ethan Long, a classmate of Ms. Burton’s from Ringling College of Art + Design. Long approached Ms. Burton in 2019 hoping to collaborate with her students in setting the page to motion.
VPA Singers Selected to All-State Choir
In a year mostly bereft of live singing performances, we are so proud that Mr. Alex Zickafoose has prepared his students for success in being selected nonetheless for the 2020-21 All State Ensemble.
Senior Jailyn Gentile was selected for the SSAA (women’s) chorus, and sophomore Genesis Gutierrez was selected for the high school mixed chorus. In normal years, this would be celebrated with a major concert featuring hundreds of selected students throughout the state and honoring All State winners at a school board meeting.
This year, the recognition will be a virtual one on May 4.
Filming for “Last Rung on the Ladder” in Progress
After months of laboring through pre-production activities, VPA Film students are in production for “Last Rung on the Ladder,” their “Dollar Baby” project, which is an adaptation of blockbuster writer Stephen King’s short story.
The months leading up to this weekend have been full of hard work, from writing a screenplay, casting the characters, scouting locations, securing props (including a casket and a Land Rover!), managing calendars, and finalizing contracts.
While Hollywood’s image of “Tinsel Town” lends credibility to notions of glamour, Film students are earning a practical education of all the preparation required for a project of this scope, skills that will give them a leg up as they apply for highly competitive film programs at the post-secondary level.
Spring Blooms Creativity!
It sure feels great to announce some upcoming LIVE events that will showcase the talents of our students and teachers:
April 16 & 17 | 6:30 p.m.: Circle of Truth–In a moment when truth itself is on trial, this relevant performance examines the notion of truth and perspective.
The collaboration between Dance and Music will feature “theatre in the round” style pieces that all explore the idea of veracity. The show is conceived as an outdoor performance with a contingency plan in case Florida’s persnickety weather has a surprise in store, a la Tropical Storm Eta, which forced a cancelation of the last planned outdoor event.
Tickets for “pod seating” will be available soon; they are limited and priority will be given to Dance and Music families.
April 24 & 25 | 6:30 p.m., 2:30 matinee on April 24: Kingdom of Solitaire–a new musical with book and lyrics by Scott Keys and score by Johnnie Mnich, Kingdom of Solitaire is a timely production that examines how injurious a fragmented society can be. Using a deck of cards’ suits as a metaphor for arbitrary divisiveness, Kingdom celebrates unity and equity as its protagonist Dex sets out to bring the suits together and allow them to see their commonalities.
This show will be produced at the Eye of the Tornado, and is Keys’s swan song as he prepares to retire from teaching.
A special preview performance is planned for April 23 for dignitaries, school board members, and our VPA supporters; this performance also will be an opportunity to announce the first-ever Sam Mossler Memorial Scholarship winner. The scholarship was created in loving memory of Theatre alum Sam Mossler, who died suddenly in October 2020.
Look for tickets to this event soon.