Middle School Students Perform Fall One Acts: Box & Labeled, Humanities Identity Boxes Showcased

Dec 4, 2019 | Build People Up, Come to Play, courage over comfort, Fine Arts, Have Fun, IDEA, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, IMAMUSTANG, Lower School News, Middle School News, Multiplier, Share the Well

Before Thanksgiving Break, the cast and crew of the Middle School Fall One Acts performed Box & Labeled.

Cast of Box:
One: Caroline Davis
Two: Justin Garner
Three: Dennis Norman
Four: Steven Patrick
Five: Caroline Kincaid
Six: Piper Hendryx
Seven: Kiera Campbell
Eight: Sonoma Peterson
Nine: Lily Tuck
Ten: Lena McMorrow

Cast of Labeled:
Mr. Simon/Fenell/Mr. D: Caleb Campbell
Ms. Stapleneck/Storm/Ms. Zink: Elizabeth Weymouth
Christy/Vertie/Castella/Claudia: Ryanne Kelly
Dawn/Adby/Mercury/Neriah/Kee: Avery Cole
Kenneth/Coron/Coley/Rye/Oli: Nick Schweninger
Angela/Narat/Asra/Embel/Poe: Sierra Peterson

Stage Manager: Shea Griffith
Electrics Design and Crew: Davis Moore
Set Design and Crew: Matthew Zedlin
Set, Props, and Crew: JJ Squillario

While preparing for the show, the performers were visited by internal MVXperts Director of Counseling Services Kelli Bynum and Director of Multicultural Innovation and Diverse Networks Brandi Hoyos. Each MVXpert spent time talking with the students about the challenges of living with the labels that others give us.

When meeting with Dr. Bynum, they talked about how expectations others place on us and the expectations we create for ourselves can become stressful. This allowed the cast to talk openly about not only their roles in the play, but also their everyday struggles as Middle School students who have fears, hurts, expectations and dreams.

Mrs. Hoyos helped students unpack the identities of their characters and their own in society. They incorporated several visible thinking routines and exercises that empowered empathy towards others. In addition, they reflected on the labels that are associated with their own identities, and whether or not they were affirming or true.

The Fall One Acts were directed by Performing Arts Lead, Middle School Theater Director Brittany Schmutzler.

In conjunction with the Fall One Acts, Grade 6 Humanities students had their work showcased before and after the performances. Read more below, contributed by Middle School Humanities Teacher Maggie Menkus.

Students in Grade 6 Humanities learned about the impact of power and social status while reading the book, The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton.  This story opened up a dialog about class conflict, and how stereotypes can cause problems in their lives.  Students recognized that they can get ‘labeled’ something they are not and ‘boxed’ into roles that do not define them.

These discussions led to the creation of “identity boxes” which are a graphic tool that helped them consider the many factors that shape who they are as individuals as well as people in a community.  Each unique box told a story about their internal and external identities that reflected their ‘true selves’ and how they want to be seen in the world.