Boston Community Collaborative (BCC) is so proud of its students who recently performed “Mini Musicals” at the St. John School stage. The play included approximately 60 students ages 3-10 from our weekly dance and drama classes at the St. John School (SJS) afterschool program and the BPS Eliot School.

This play was created, directed, and choreographed by BCC’s lead drama and dance instructor, Ingrid Oslund.

“Musicals of the stage and screen is where my love of the theater began. As a young working actor, not only was this the majority of the projects I worked on, but they also served as inspiration. From bonified classics to cutting edge contemporary, the importance and reverence I have cannot be overstated. In creating this show, I wanted to highlight stories and pieces of choreography that explored the evolution of musical theater from the past to the present.” – Ingrid Oslund.

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For our youngest SJS performers, Disney’s Newises, a recent stage adaptation of a film starring Christian Bale was selected.  Full of high energy dance numbers, music and a strong sense of justice, these rowdy news boys and girls learn that they can band together to create change.

For our older SJS students, Ingrid combined scenes from several familiar musicals. She wanted to select culture touchstones that would serve as an educational experience as well as an artistic one. The formatting was based on vaudevillian and caberet variety shows that many musicals are based on. Musicals depicted by our SJS actors and dancers included Oklahoma, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and The DescendantsOklahoma, a classic Roger and Hammerstein musical, showed a sweeping score and powerful script. The Phantom of the Opera, the longest running show on Broadway not only has longevity, but brilliantly combines a ghost story and a love story. Wicked, an alternate narrative of the Wizard of Oz is an uplifting tale of friendship, acceptance and freedom.  Finally, a musical that has yet to see a Broadway stage, but that illustrates a modern view of musical theater, The Descendants introduced our viewers to musical structures with a new pop, hip-hop flair.

Our students who meet at the BPS Eliot School portrayed Tunes of Hollywood, a celebration of musicals about movie making and celebrity culture. With an innovative use of technology, we follow two reporters and their camera operator through three Hollywood stories. Our actors introduced one of the most iconic films of all time, Singing in the Rain, the quintessential movie musical. We retold the Hollywood horror story, Sunset Boulevard which gave our students the chance to embody these over the top, dramatic characters. We ended with an augmented version of Nine, a story about an Italian Film maker attempting to make an American debut, to explore artistic agency and creativity.

A lovely, festive reception followed the show and included donated Regina’s Pizza.

BCC is delighted to continue to create opportunities that mix kids from different contexts in the neighborhood.  Our SJS students may know our Eliot School students through the Nazzaro Center, from sports, from their respective neighborhoods, from the playground, from their daycare long ago – it is a thrill to bring them all together in collaboration.

Our next session will culminate in an original play that will be devised and written by our students based on the collection of stories in “One Thousand and One Nights”, tales from the Arabic, Greek, Indian, Jewish, Persian and Turkish traditions. From a cave filled with 40 thieves, to a fearless sailor, to an evil king who learns to love, these tales of action and adventure will create a thrilling theatrical experience. Our end of session performance will be Sunday, June 10 at 10 a.m. and will include all of our dance and drama students.

About Boston Community Collaborative:
BCC was incorporated in 2013 and strives to create community by connecting people and resources. BCC offers courses in Drama, Dance, Fitness, Yoga, Music and Movement and Wicked Smaht Engineering for Kids at various North End or West End locations. BCC hosts a number of community events: Movie Nights in the Gassy during the summer, an annual Halloween Party for adults, and an annual Springtime Egg Hunt in Christopher Columbus Park and a variety of other things. For more information, contact becca0923@yahoo.com.

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