Theatre Featured at School Board Meeting
In observance of March being National Arts Education Month, the school board meeting on March 2 recognized district arts achievements. The VPA Theatre Department was invited to participate and junior Ryan Modjeski was selected to perform “Belong,” a ballad from the upcoming musical “Kingdom of Solitaire.”
The musical was written by our own Scott Keys (book & lyrics) and Johnnie Mnich (score), and addresses the theme of fragmentation and isolation that has been brought to high relief in real life throughout the pandemic.
Drawing from social unrest and the solitary existence many have experienced during pandemic lockdown, Keys wrote the story that features a young protagonist, Dex, who locks himself in his room and plays solitaire as a means of feeling some control over his life. He’s abducted by the Joker into a world where suit division among hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades creates upheaval and threatens major irreparable damage. Dex is on a mission to unite the suits and help spark a world in which equality and harmony reign superior.
The musical offers insightful commentary on our times in a whimsical way; Keys initially conceived of the musical with children’s theatre in mind. It will be performed April 24-25 at the Eye of the Tornado outdoor theatre. Stay tuned for ticketing information.
Modjeski’s performance and the introduction by senior Marcus Cruz-Santiago can be seen beginning around minute 24 of this video.
Superintendent Visits BHS for “On the Move” Segment
Dr. Brennan Asplen visited Booker High School on March 4 to interact with students and teachers and film an episode for his “Dr. Asplen: On the Move” series that highlights different campuses in the district.
He visited the classrooms of VPA teachers Courtney Smith (Dance) and Steve Strenk (Art), and was able to witness a performance of the Twisty Cone men’s choir led by Alex Zickafoose. Throughout the tour, he also visited Ms. Prozzo’s AICE Literature class, the Mock Courtroom and Engineering lab.
The episode will be released on Friday, March 12. Be on the lookout for it to see all the exciting happenings at Booker High School.
Death by Chocolate: La Vie en Rose a Triumph!
After a year stymied by Covid-19 restrictions, VPA Music returned to a live performance format with Death By Chocolate: La Vie en Rose. The eclectic concert featured an array of songs that celebrate romance and love expertly performed on a variety of instruments.
Bookended by performances of the titular song (first, by Cameron Piekarz who opened the show with a trumpet solo that channeled Louis Armstrong, in finale, by Jaelyn Gentile, whose performance of the song originated by Edith Piaf was a force of nature), La Vie en Rose delivered plenty of joy among patrons excited to see a live performance of this fantastic group of student-musicians.
For the Music Department, it was the first live concert since last year’s Death by Chocolate, and the return to the stage was a sweet homecoming. This year’s concert was performed in the café pavilion, adhering to CDC guidelines to ensure a safe experience for all.
This year’s concert was made all the sweeter by a generous contribution by Nothing Bundt Cakes, whose donation of samples of rich chocolate-chocolate chip cake patrons enjoyed.
Upcoming VPA performances are “Circle of Truth,” a collaboration of Dance and Music, April 16-17, and “Kingdom of Solitaire,” an original musical written by Scott Keys and Johnnie Mnich, April 24-25. All will be presented with safety at the forefront.
VPA Film Students Win TSA Award
Congratulations to Myles Summerlin and Rosie Wolff for taking second place in the category of On Demand Video Production for the Technology Student Association Annual State Conference.
Overall, Booker entered 22 students in the statewide competition and earned 14 top-10 awards.