January 2011 Archives

Digital Photography by an SBMS Student

As we continue to highlight student work, I wanted to share two photographs taken by 8th grader Makenna Katz. Makenna is a member of our Digital Photography class taught by Mrs. Moots. We are very proud of Makenna and her exceptional work! We hope to add more photos soon.

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For the first time in Stone Bridge history, we decided to host the Scripps Spelling Bee (sponsored by the PTA). On January 13th, we were riveted by a 20 round spelling battle...read more about it from the Messenger Press (click on the link below).


A New Stage in Their Development

The following article was in today's Examiner. Enjoy!
Curtain will rise on middle school's first-ever production in new theater Feb. 10-12
BY JENNIFER KOHLHEPP Staff Writer for the Examiner

Stone Bridge Middle School students rehearse for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” the first production to be held in the new school’s theater. Emily Smith (l-r), Angelisa Hinton and Cora Firkin sing the opening of the tale with the chorus. 
CLAIRE SHEPROW Stone Bridge Middle School students rehearse for "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," the first production to be held in the new school's theater. Emily Smith (l-r), Angelisa Hinton and Cora Firkin sing the opening of the tale with the chorus. CLAIRE SHEPROW The community has played the biggest part in the first-ever production at the new Stone Bridge Middle School Theater.

Allentown and Upper Freehold residents passed the two referendums totaling $50 million for the construction of the new school, which contains a 622-seat theater where students can showcase their talents. The auditorium and stage are much larger than those at the former middle school, giving more children a chance to shine in the spotlight. Seventy-three students have been working on the first-ever Stone Bridge Middle School production. The curtain will rise on "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" Feb. 10.

Eighth-grader Zach Klopner plays the part of Joseph in the Stone Bridge Middle School’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” 
CLAIRE SHEPROW Eighth-grader Zach Klopman plays the part of Joseph in the Stone Bridge Middle School's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." CLAIRE SHEPROW Theater has been a popular after-school activity since choir and theater teacher Tara Bartlett started directing musicals in the middle school seven years ago. This will be her seventh show. Rather than cower away from change, Bartlett has embraced it. She decided to make the first production on the new stage bigger and bolder than any she has directed before. Unlike the former auditorium, the new theater has professional lighting and a sound system. Having a larger stage also gave Bartlett the room to include more students than ever before in the musical.

"This is the first time ever that I've used students in grades five to eight," Bartlett said. "Usually the musical is only open to grades seven and eight. This is the first time we're having a true all-middle-school show."

Fifth- and sixth-graders will sing in the children's choir in the production. Fifthgrader Ryan Bednarski said that having a part in the show is a big opportunity, and he wants to enjoy every second of it.

"We're angels and we follow Joseph wherever he goes because he's having a tough time and we're just there for him," Ryan said.

Sixth-grader Marina McCormick, who will also perform in the children's choir, said it is an honor to get to share the stage with her sister, Erika McCormick, who is in the eighth grade. "It's a fun show that we've dedicated a lot of our time to for the audience, and we just want to share it with them," Marina said.

The change of venue also resulted in Bartlett's decision to put on a full-length musical instead of a shortened junior production. "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, runs for about two hours. Based on the biblical story of Joseph, the musical has a family-friendly story line, universal themes and catchy music. Three narrators tell the story of Joseph and his 11 brothers. The brothers, jealous over a coat that their father gave to Joseph, sell Joseph as a slave and tell their father that he has been killed. In Egypt, Joseph uses his dream interpretation skills to impress the Pharaoh and becomes a powerful man. When his brothers go hungry and come to him for food, Joseph tests them before revealing himself and reuniting with his father for a happy ending.

Bartlett said she chose the big, colorful production with rock and disco musical numbers to "make a splash on the new stage."

"It's a traditional musical in a non-traditional way," Bartlett said. "There's lots of singing and dancing. It's all songs. All of the stories are told through song."


Bartlett will conduct the orchestra, which features student and professional musicians, on stage during the show. As a result, most scenes feature more than 50 students performing on stage at one time.

Eighth-grader Emily Smith, a narrator in the show, said the new stage makes the performers feel special.

"Peoplewill have a bunch of fun seeing the performance and seeing kids smiling through all the different scenes and fun colors," Emily said .

The young players worked hard and had fun developing their roles, as the characters in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" afforded them the opportunity to get creative in showing off their acting skills, according to Bartlett.

"This is a cast of very creative kids," Bartlett said.

Eighth-grader Jenna Roche, one of four young ladies to play a brother, said, "It definitely wasn't the role I expected, but I really love how Ms. Bartlett decided to give me the part. It's actually an honor to be picked as a brother. It was really challenging at first, but I really love it."

The entire cast learned a lot for the production, since the show features many different types of music and dancing. Students countryline, go-go, calypso and swing dance in some of the show's major numbers.

"For themost part, everyone is on stage all of the time," Bartlett said. "It's really a chance for everyone to have a moment and for the featured dancers to have a chance to shine."

Eighth-grader Zach Klopman, who will portray Joseph, never played a part in a musical production before and said it felt good to get the lead role.

"I've put in a lot of work, and I'm really excited for the show," Zach said.

Eighth-grader Angelisa Hinton, a narrator in the show, said, "We've been working really hard since September. It's been really inspiring up here on the new stage doing what we love to do, and we would really like an audience to come out and see that."

The stage crew consists of 10 students, with eighth-grader Olivia Sznaza serving as stage manager.

"She has been at every rehearsal, organizing props, operating lights and helping the stage crew stay on task," Bartlett said of Olivia. "She really helps hold the technical side of the production together."

Others working on the production include seventh-grade math teacher Sharon Moots and her daughter Victoria. A senior at Rider University, Victoria is assisting Bartlett with the choreography. Janette Williams made the costumes. Allentown High School student Katie Cann, who starred in some of Bartlett's previous shows, has also been helping with the production.

Performances of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" will start at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10, 11 and 12. Doors to the Stone Bridge Middle School auditorium will open at 6:40 p.m. For tickets or more information, email Tara Bartlett at tengoot@ufrsd.net.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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