5th Grade Musical Is a Show of Firsts

"The Big One-Oh!"

Meadow Pond Elementary School’s fifth grade musical is so cutting edge that its descriptor—a “zoomsical”—isn’t even in spell-check yet! The students' production of the first-known zoomsical—"The Big One-Oh!" will be available for members of the Meadow Pond community to view on Friday, February 19, and Saturday, February 20, at 7:00 and 7:45 p.m. via links sent the days of the performances. Meadow Pond students will also view the show in school. 

It's a musical ... on zoom

“It’s been amazing to see this come together,” said Kate Belders, the production coordinator of the musical. She’s referring to the uncharted journey of firsts that she, Director Morgan Milone and Drama Club Faculty Advisor Barbara Milone are taking with the students as they tell the story of Charley Maplewood, a new kid in town who is turning ten—the big one-oh—who decides to throw a party for himself with the help of his imaginary friends.

Students relate to the fun adventure, based on the book written by Academy Award-winner Dean Pitchford, and cheer for Charley as he makes new friends.

MPES fifth graders on stage

2 different casts!

Two casts of 16 students each have been rehearsing three times a week since mid-December, zooming in from home. Auditions were open to all Meadow Pond fifth graders as well as the remote-only class of students from Meadow Pond and Katonah Elementary School. As a result, the lead of one cast is Martin Denny, a student at Meadow Pond, and the other is Ryla Krulik, a student at Katonah Elementary School.

“The can-do attitude of the students has been terrific,” said Belders. Because the students were already accustomed to Zoom, they’ve been comfortable singing and dancing on the video conferencing platform even when, inevitably, internet connections drop, and screens freeze.

Mrs. Cleveland--the town snoop

home and school partnership has been key

The home-school connection has been key, every step of the way—from families helping their students find props and create costumes to parents Patrick and Tara Denny, who run the media production company Tanata, digitally stitching dozens of individual recordings together into exciting musical ensembles.

“Both Mrs. Clevelands, the town snoop, look splendid in grey hair, granny glasses and pearls,” said Belders, “and the monsters are covered with leaves and truly look like swamp creatures.”

From all accounts, “The Big One-Oh!” has been a great success, even before opening night. “Parents tell us that their children look forward to going to rehearsal,” said Belders. “It’s a win when we provide a creative opportunity that kids can look forward to.”

Charley is played by Martin Denny, a student at Meadow Pond

Charley is also played by Ryla Krulik, a student at Katonah Elementary