- Ryan Maikell
Barnhardt-Roberson says a workshop-style play allows the students to concentrate on the material and work together to create a performance. There will also be a gallery of student art (like this image to the left) presented during the intermission.
“We want to challenge each student to develop new skills and build on strengths,” she says. “This allows us to focus on script writing, music and lyric writing.”
Conducting a series of workshops with students, the two adults peppered them with questions.
“We wanted to draw out their thoughts, longings, inner and outer voices. We took suggestions for direction, story line, songs and scenes,” says Schubarth.
- Carrie Barnhardt-Roberson
The resulting original show will concentrate on the theme of creating unity by allowing students the opportunity to give voice to the things they see as strengths and weaknesses within the communities in El Paso County. To that end, the students and teachers reached out to area elementary and middle school students to participate in the performance and planning.
Barnhardt-Roberson will write some connecting scenes from one song to another, but most are based directly on the ideas generated by the students during the early workshops.
“[There is] original material in the show that will feature many students in ways that a book musical simply does not allow,” says Barnhardt-Roberson. “It also enables students to learn how to collaborate artistically with each other and their mentors.”