Category: Arts

NE Prep School Dance Fest

This weekend our dancers attended the New England Prep School Dance Festival at Northfield Mount Hermon. This student-organized event gives area private school dance programs a chance to get together and to both learn from and share ideas.

Twelve schools participated, and four students from MacDuffie attended. They took three classes across several genres and performed in an informal concert; Ms. Muzzy taught two classes, contact improvisation and yoga.

Bravo, dancers!

 

The Arts Department Presents: THE ADDAMS FAMILY

On March 2, 3, and 4, there was something creepy, spooky, mysterious, and kooky going on in Little Theater…

The Addams Family, based on the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, was this year’s Winter Musical. Ms. Becky Beth Benedict directed, Mr. Steve Kaminski served as musical director, and Ms. Angie Muzzy did choreography.

The idea for the production came from a conversation between Ms. Benedict and Ms. Tew, theater teacher and Residential Advisor, about how to use Ms. Benedict’s bear rug in a show. Ms. Tew suggested The Addams Family. “As I spent more time looking into the story told in this musical, I found it very entertaining and a good fit for the MacDuffie students,” said Ms. Benedict. “The characters are distinct and likable.  The comedy and dialogue are written in such a way that it registers well with our contemporary sensibilities.”

In addition to the acting, dancing, and musical aspects of the production, the Arts department engaged in creative activities to enhance the staging and makeup aspects of the show. Michael Budnick, owner of Mad Science, visited early on during the rehearsal period. He trained the stage crew on the handling of dry ice, which was used to make the fog effect and the bubbling brew coming out of Grandma’s cauldron.

Ms. Tew oversaw the hair and makeup design for the show, jump-starting the effort through a CAP. They began by researching previous productions of The Addams Family as well as other makeup-heavy Broadway shows and by learning about makeup artists who have designed for shows like Shrek the Musical, Wicked, and Cats. The all-girls makeup team then created design palettes for each character, based in part on what the costume crew was designing. “They also collected the necessary wigs (some of which were loaned to MacDuffie by Exit 7 Theater, like the costumes) and styling tools,” said Ms. Tew, “so the girls learned about wig care and maintenance.” In the week leading up to the show, the girls applied the makeup daily, made changes as needed, and became proficient enough to add last-minute details to make the Addams ancestors distinct.

“The students have gained confidence on stage and in life during our two-month rehearsal period,” said Ms. Benedict. “They have found that they are capable of more than they knew.  I am incredibly proud of their dedication and talent.”

Thank you to Carrie Lu ’19 and Ms. Tew for the photos.

Congratulations to all who participated and helped put on the show!

Dance Students Take Masters Class

Dance students recently went to Northfield Mount Hermon to take classes with master teachers Bill Evans and Don Halquist. Dancers from Northfield Mount Hermon (under the direction of Gretel Schatz) and The Dance Studio of Orange, MA (under the direction of Ingrid Schatz) were in attendance. They took classes in jazz, modern technique, ballet, yoga, improvisation, and tap.

Ms. Muzzy was taught by Bill Evans in graduate school (The College at Brockport), and sisters Gretel and Ingrid Schatz, with whom she coordinated the event, taught Ms. Muzzy in her childhood dance years.

PHOTOS: THAT’S THE SPIRIT

This year’s Fall Play was THAT’S THE SPIRIT, a murder mystery spoof directed by Mr. Lyman and produced by Ms. Benedict. The zany whodunit follows the murder of Hollywood psychic in a home that once belonged to a famed illusionist. The cast of characters–complete with a walking lampshade–make for a colorful and unusual list of suspects.

Congratulations to all who participated in the play, and thanks to Ms. Tew and Mr. Epaul for the photos!