A group of students flourished under the spotlight during P.S. 89’s recent production of the musical ‘Aladdin.’
The Allerton school’s after-school drama program put on three shows the first week of June, one of which was the first evening performance by the school, and was open to the community.
“We got such a great turnout,” said drama teacher Jennifer Susi. “It made the kids feel really special.”
The students worked after school for more than six months to prepare the play, and while Susi facilitated, she said the kids are responsible for doing the real work on the production.
“They took the reins, it’s amazing to see,” she said.
The student’s engagement in the production process offered practice in important life skills, said Susi.
“They learned how to commit and dedicate themselves to something,” she said.
They also learned social skills through the process and gained experience collaborating with different people.
“They’re working together to a common goal,” said Susi.
She likes that 6th, 7th and 8th graders come together for the plays, and that about half the cast was new to the drama program. That means the older students showed the younger ones the ropes, taking them under their wing.
“They really became a family during this production,” said Susi.
The students grow as they work towards the final show, she said, gaining confidence and increasing in expression along the way. By the time they complete the production, they’re empowered in a way they weren’t before.
“I know they feel in their hearts that they accomplished something,” said Susi.
The whole school was proud of the quality production of ‘Aladdin’, she said, and it demonstrated how P.S. 89, which has an arts academy within the school, prioritizes learning through the arts.
“The arts are really flourishing here,” said Susi.