Atrium Presents The NeverEnding Story
Growing our Middle School performing arts program, this spring Atrium School added a spring play to our longstanding tradition of the winter musical. Led by Performing Arts Specialist Sophie Rich ‘03, fifteen Middle School students performed The NeverEnding Story twice on Wednesday: once for their fellow students, and again in the evening for families and friends.
“I had always wanted to add an option like this, and going into this year it felt like the theater program had the momentum and the interest to sustain adding the second show!” Sophie said. “I was especially glad this program gave students who had the desire to perform, but not necessarily to sing and dance, a chance to participate in after school drama.”
In addition to the stage adaptation of The NeverEnding Story, students also read the novel in English class, giving them an opportunity to experience the narrative in multiple forms. “It's such a beautiful, rich story,” said Sophie. “There isn't a particular precedent for the play being connected to the curriculum, but it was an exciting opportunity that we took advantage of this year.”
Students in the play rehearsed twice a week after school, with occasional Sunday rehearsals. One-third of the Middle School participated in the play, to the delight of the entire school.
“Drama paves the way for confidence, self-esteem, stage presence, and, of course, empathy with a character,” Sophie said. “With the process of The NeverEnding Story in particular, we focused a lot on collaboration, ensemble creativity, and the team effort of putting on a play. We worked within the framework of a fantasy world being created from the school attic to devise ways that the ensemble could bring that concept to life. This production showcased both performance skills and our students’ innovative artistic ideas.”