This week a class of Hamlin kindergarteners had the opportunity to visit the Curran Theatre. Earlier in the year some of our students watched a performance of the musical Bright Star at the theatre. On another occasion many of our girls sang at the theatre as part of the new season launch. We are very excited about this vibrant and ongoing partnership with the Curran.
Built in 1922, the Curran has housed some of the biggest productions in theater history and has maintained a reputation over the course of its life as one of the premier live entertainment venues in North America. Now, almost a century after it welcomed its first Bay Area audiences, the Curran has just completed a major restoration and renovation. Under the curation of eight-time Tony Award-winner Carole Shorenstein Hays, the Curran reopened its 1,600 seat venue in January 2017 with the groundbreaking musical FUN HOME. Now, the Curran is offering our first ever subscription offering. #CURRAN2018 is a full season of jaw-dropping theater, entertainment and artistry that offers four new works by some of the world’s most celebrated theater artists and an eclectic line-up of special events.
Kindergarten teacher Ms. Phillips shares more about their visit:
The girls got the chance to sit in the balcony and learned about the history of the theatre and some fun facts- it opened in 1922 and the chandelier weighs as much as a car (over 4000 lbs) and can only be moved up and down by a hand crank! There is no play going on at the moment, so the stage was empty and the girls not only had the opportunity to explore the stage, but were also able to perform the plays they have been working on! After their quick performances, we got to go backstage and learn about how the scenes and different props are brought down and lifted up, and went into the “star” dressing room.
This was an amazing culminating field trip for our emergent unit on acting!
In February our 15 Team Hamlin thespians did us proud. Competing with almost 300 students (Grades 6-8) from 18 different Middle Schools from all over California at the Middle School Theater Festival in Pleasant Hill, California, our students earned 14 gold medals, 10 silver medals, and 4 bronze medals from the adjudicators for their monologues, scenes, musical solos, and musical duets.
The CETA Middle Stage Fest, now in its seventeenth year, is an exciting event for middle school drama students. At the festival, students perform monologues and scenes for panels of adjudicators and compete to earn bronze, silver and gold medals. In addition, while judges are tabulating the scores, students get to participate in high-energy theatre games. Unlike involvement in sports, it is rare for theatre students to have the opportunity to meet peers from other schools, share their passion, showcase their talent, and learn from one another. This festival brings together hundreds of students to do just that. All participating students qualify to attend CA YOUTH IN THEATRE DAY, where they meet and perform with other award-winning students from throughout the state.
Watch an award-winning monologue by Kennedy here:
To learn more, please visit: http://cetoweb.org/ceta/ceta-middle-stage-fest/
On December 6, Hamlin girls from grade 7 visited the recently renovated Curran Theatre to watch the musical Bright Star. Students absolutely loved the performance and will have an opportunity to discuss both the story and narrative structure of the play in their English classes.
Directed by Tony® winner Walter Bobbie and inspired by a real event, this “downright wonderful” (Newsday) original musical tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ‘40s. The story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies and powerfully moving performances. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tight in its grasp, BRIGHT STAR is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful.
Propelled by an ensemble of onstage musicians and dancers, the entire show is framed around Carmen Cusack’s Alice Murphy, who is “nuanced and forceful, effortlessly eloquent both as the younger Alice and as her older, sterner iteration.”(The Guardian) Literary editor Alice develops a relationship with a young soldier just home from World War II, awakening her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past—and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives.
For more information about Bright Star at the Curran, please visit: https://sfcurran.com/shows/bright-star/
Over recent summers our highly talented theater teacher, Heidi Abbott, has been taking students to see Shakespeare plays onstage in Ashland, Oregon. For the past three years Hamlin has also been hosting visiting actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival traces its roots back to the Chautauqua movement, which brought culture and entertainment to rural areas of the country in the late 19th century. Ashland’s first Chautauqua building—erected in 1893, mostly by townspeople—saw its first performance on July 5. In 1905, the building was enlarged to accommodate an audience of 1,500. Families traveled from all over Southern Oregon and Northern California to see such performers as John Phillip Sousa and William Jennings Bryan during the Ashland Chautauqua’s 10-day seasons.
The Oregon Shakespearean Festival was officially born on July 2, 1935 with a production of Twelfth Night. The Festival presented The Merchant of Venice on the 3rd and Twelfth Night again on the 4th. Reserved seats cost $1, with general admission of $.50 for adults and $.25 for children.