Based on the Oscar-winning animated film and the Tony Award-winning adventure-filled musical, The Learning Community School is pleased to present “Shrek, Jr.” in the Owen High School auditorium April 20-22. The entire K-8 student body of 78 participates in the show, which features full choreography, singing, and live accompaniment.
It’s not just the students who are represented in the show. Every parent and staff member in the school contributes to the production, from costumes and make-up to lighting and props, and even the dedicated team who gathers, organizes, and displays the incredible silent auction. Some parental tasks even include extraordinary creative work – a current parent and an alumni parent have collaborated to build a massive, moving dragon for the production. Every single team of the musical shines in its own way and contributes to the overwhelming success of the show each year.
The event is unique in that it serves as the primary source of community outreach, community building, and fundraising for The Learning Community School; it is the school’s flagship event. The dress rehearsal and preview show are ways to support getting children, the elderly, and those who are developmentally disabled to a live theater production. “For our friends at the Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center, this is a big deal,” says parent volunteer dress rehearsal coordinator, Stacey Estes. “Many of these wheelchair-bound individuals are simply not able to go see a live performance. One resident said that it was the best day of the whole year!”
Community building is a key component of the event. From the team of Saturday morning set builders to the Tuesday night costume sewing circle to the students creating magic onstage, the sense of working together for a common purpose permeates the atmosphere. Robin Jacobs, TLC parent, PE teacher, and silent auction coordinator says, “This common purpose creates an environment where collaboration is essential and familiar. It builds group stability and individual equanimity, while contributing to a culture of group success.” Executive Director Katherine Murphy says, “At the close of Sunday’s performance at our community celebration, we all celebrate the success of working together for the good of our community.”
While there are so many community benefits, the bottom line is that it is also an incredibly successful fundraiser for a small school. Ticket sales, concessions, sponsorships, and the silent auction all complement each other; “We feel incredibly fortunate to have hit upon the right combination to give our students and community a meaningful and enriching experience while raising necessary funds for the school,” says Holly Baumgartner, Administrative Director.
Musical highlights include “Freak Flag,” “I’m a Believer,” and “Story of My Life,” which has all of the fairy tale characters you know and love featured in one song; all will be performed as part of the school’s full-length, professional-level theater presentation.
The show is directed by Black Mountain resident, Dead Poets member, and TLC School alumni parent and teacher, Tom Tracy. “This is my 13th year directing the school musical,” says Tracy, “And for us it has come to represent something way beyond a ‘school musical.’ It’s an opportunity. We build a professional framework and these young people fill it up. They work so hard. It’s inspiring and you truly have to see it to believe it.”
Students are rehearsing in the same location that housed Black Mountain College, the legendary school that was located on the grounds of what is now Camp Rockmont. The Learning Community School is located on the same property and rehearses in the same building that once housed the innovative happenings. “Our little school is sitting here on hallowed ground, and we can’t help but draw inspiration from knowing that this was a place where some of the most creative minds in our country once lived, worked, and created,” says Tracy.
• Friday, April 20 at 6pm
• Saturday, April 21 at 4pm
• Sunday, April 22 at 2pm
• Owen High School auditorium, Black Mountain NC
• Tickets: $10 general admission