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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Young Thespians Span Borders

Charlotte Freeman, an aspiring actress and a fifth grader at the Anglo-American School, is glad to have the opportunity to hone her craft. "I want to be in movies and plays," said Freeman, 10. "I like performing in front of a crowd."


Freeman and 23 fellow fifth and sixth graders at the Anglo-American School are currently displaying their talents in the school's production of "From Borders to Bridges," a musical by Michael and Jill Gallina. The play shows this Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. at the lower school's auditorium.


The performance is the culmination of a six-week unit on global harmony. Groups of students developed skits about either borders that separate people or bridges that bring them together.


Deborah Zimbler, 11, who was a strawberry girl in the school's production of "Oliver" last year, prefers this year's play. "It was more energetic," she said. "And everyone got to sing. Oh, and everybody got to be on stage at the same time."


Well, almost everybody. David Sparks, a sixth grader, was manning the spotlight. Dressed in a black techie T-shirt, his work was especially strong during an earthquake episode in a recent dress-rehearsal of the play. At this point he swerved the spot around wildly. "I wanted to do the lights so I could take part in the play without being on the stage," he said.


Another member of the four-person technical team was Ashley Bean, a fifth grader in charge of props. Unfortunately, Bean sprained her arm early Monday, before dress rehearsal, when she slipped on ice so "it was really hard to open the curtain."


Tanya Arnold, the school's music teacher and the director of the play, said the students rehearsed in after-school sessions once a week for two months to put on the musical. The group's singing numbers included "Compromise Ties," a song about the wonders of negotiation, and a rap number that commanded, "Put yourself in my shoes, work it, that's the deal. Put yourself in my shoes and you'll know how I feel."