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Congratulations to Boston Community Collaborative (BCC)’s students who participated in our production of “GREECE” on Sunday, March 26 at the St. John School stage.

BCC combined all of its dance and drama students from SJS, and the North End Community for a session end performance. The session ran from the beginning of January thru the end of March. The original production was written, directed, and choreographed by the very talented Ingrid Oslund.

The play was performed in four parts. The first part included our youngest students, ages 3-6 as muses. In Greek Mythology, the muses inspired artists of all kinds. Our muses toured us through the MUSEum – where we met some of the world’s most well known figures.

The second part of our play included our students who meet at the exciting studio space at the Improv each week. These Greek Gods and Goddesses showed us a slice of daily life on a modern day Mount Olympus. Zues and Hera struggled to connect and communicate with their busy schedules. Aphrodite desperately tried to help her brother Hades with his love life. Athena and Poseidon, two rival siblings couldn’t stop playing pranks on each other. Additionally, these students had the fantastic opportunity to perform for the second graders at the Eliot School on Friday during their school day.

The third part of our play, included some of our most veteran students who wrote their own adaptation of “The Iliad”. They explored the relationship between Aphrodite, a sinister goddess with a golden apple and Helen of Troy, the woman who began the Trojan War. Based on Homer’s Epic Poem, “The Iliad” chronicles the war from many different perspectives.

The fourth part of our play brought three stories from Homer’s “The Odyssey” to life. The actors followed Athena’s favorite mortal, Odysseus through his trials and tribulations on his journey home from the Trojan War, where his wife Penelope and son, Telemachus wait for him. First he found an island ruled by a witch named Circe, who transforms trespassers into pigs. Next he discovered the land of the Lotus Eaters, a place where a mysterious drink makes you lose the ability to tell time. Finally he encountered a one-eyed monster named Polythemus, who is very protective of his sheep and his eye.

Director’s Note: The power of these classic tales is undeniable. The characters are the first superheros, the legends and celebrities of the ancient world and an important piece of canonized literature. Each one of these pieces was carefully selected in order to explore an element of how theater was done in ancient Greece. The Muses served as a Greek chorus, an effective theatrical trope which uses a group of actors to tell a story as one, an exciting concept for our littlest performers. The young performers from the North End Community who meet at the Improv space had the opportunity to explore comic structure modeled after the Greek model of a traditional Comedy. Meanwhile, our oldest performers from both groups explored a script based on Grecian Tragedy, giving these young actors a chance to stretch their more dramatic muscles, even if the story does have a happy ending!

Choreographer’s Note: In order to embrace a well-rounded dance experience, our students are exposed to a variety of dance styles. Our youngest performers, danced to “Zero to Hero” from the Disney musical Hercules to learn basic Broadway dance and to “Pompeii” to explore basic modern technique, a dance style created by Martha Graham, featured in our MUSEum. Our talented older SJS dancers, explored 5 different ways of moving. “Battle Dance” was based in ensemble movement, “Blank Space” was based on multiple subsets of Hip-Hop. “Hung Up” was based on Disco, particularly on partnering. “Think” was based on jazz and basic tap and finally “Fight Song” was based on contemporary. Our oldest dancers explored three different styles and used each dance to tell a story. “L-O-V-E” used tap and jazz to create a romantic dream sequence, “Stitches” used contemporary technique to indicate the passing of time and trials of war and finally “Sit Still and Look Pretty” used Hip-Hop to express a character’s choice to leave her home and explore the world.

Ingrid Oslund has an impressive resume of all things theatre. She is a playwright, director, choreographer, and teaching artist in the Boston area. Her work has been featured by a number of Boston Area companies such as Newburyport Actors Studio (Post Pardum Nativity), Emstage (Richard the III), Suffolk University (Mountain Air, Hum’s Girls, 4:49 Psychosis), The Theatre Offensive (The Bard and Boal), Boston Opera Collaborative (Faust et Marguerite), Hampshire Shakespeare Company (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Boston Community Collaborative (The Olympus Complex, Skull Duggary, East High Tales, A Slice of Shakespeare, The Houses of Hogwarts, Woman Writer’s Suicide Club). Ms Oslund strives to create theater that is innovative, immersive and cerebral, regardless of the demographic she is working with. She holds a BA in theater with a focus in Directing and Playwriting from Suffolk University, and an MA in Applied Theater from Emerson College. She has worked with children in the North End for the past 5+ years.

Boston Community Collaborative was incorporated in 2013 as a means to connect people, and enrich lives. BCC offers courses in Drama, Dance, Fitness and Engineering for Kids in the North End, and a Movers and Shakers music and movement class for babies and toddlers at the West End Community Center. BCC also hosts a number of community events such as summertime North End Movie Nights, an annual Halloween Party for adults, an Annual Springtime Egg Hunt, and a number of theatrical productions. For more information, contact Becca at becca0923@yahoo.com.

Upcoming Events:
April 4, 5:30 pm, Josiah Quincy School – “Hamilton! A Dance Showcase”. A dance showcase featuring our students from the Josiah Quincy afterschool program.
Spring 2017 – Date TBD (based on weather) – Neighborhood Egghunt in Christopher Columbus Park.
June 2 and 3, 7 pm, – location TBA – “Alice’s Wonderland”. Our Youth Main stage Production featuring a cast of young people as well as professional actors.
June 11, 2 pm – “Twisted Tales; A Play on Perspectives” – Our next end of session presentation featuring collaborations between all of our students.
June 13, 5:30, Josiah Quincy School – “Campfire Tales”. Our presentation for the end of our next session at the Josiah Quincy School.
July 5-9, Dover NH at the Seacoast Fringe Festival. “Woman Writer’s Suicide Club”. Our adult main stage production from this year has been accepted into this regional theater festival. Ages 18 and up.
Wednesday nights all summer long. North End Movie Nights in the Gassy
August, 2017, Our week long summer intensive theatre offering. “Hairspray”. A musical theatre intensive based on the music and book of the Broadway hit “Hairspray”.

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