Arts

Yo Ho! Yo Ho! A Pirate’s Life For Me!!

On March 2, the 8th Grade performed Pirates, Eh!, four ten-minute plays written by professional and student playwrights from The University of Iowa. Thanks to our strong alliance with the university's renowned playwriting program, this marked the fourth year our 8th-grade class performed their ten-minute plays.
 
Last year while working with students in Tom Hughes’ 7th grade reading class, UI Professor Kate Aspengren, a published playwright, asked the class what theme they wanted for their 8th grade show. Pirates came up as a popular choice…as did Canada, oddly enough, and the ever-present ninjas, all of which were included in the production! Ms. Aspengren assigned her playwriting class to write ten-minute plays for a middle school audience, performed by 8th graders. A very challenging assignment!
           
From the many scripts presented Director Trina Tjersland selected four plays: Bartholomew Roberts by Taylor Bradley, Lost Man’s Island by Brian Hill, The Audition by Kate Aspengren and The 42nd Annual Pastry Judging Convention by Noah S. Brown.  Each play presented a unique take on the problem of pirates in our culture and all were imaginative and unexpected...much like our 8th grade students.
 
The grand finale was created by the very talented choreographer Rachel Marlowe. Ms. Marlowe staged an exhilarating dance piece that incorporated the entire cast, set to the popular music of The Pirates of the Caribbean, ending with a lift and explosion, which was perfectly executed by our students. In addition to the fabulous acting and dancing, the production was run by an 8th-grade stage crew under the guidance of Mr. Matthew Kator. Every set piece moved, every sound cue was heard and every light change was seen because the crew made it happen.
           
What a remarkable production for our community to experience and a memorable educational experience for Tower Hill’s 8th grade!  Congratulations, bravo and …Arghhhh!
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