This year’s enhanced ARTS department has provided numerous unique experiences to current Chase Kids. Aside from the exciting partnership with Shakesperience Productions,Inc. that helped to produce last weekend’s spectacular The Taming of the Shrew performances, the ARTS department helped coordinate a field trip experience unlike any other. Students in the Middle and Upper schools were treated to a performance of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s beloved play, The Phantom of the Opera at the iconic Palace Theater in downtown Waterbury. Aside from enjoying an incredible performance produced by Cameron Mackintosh, students had the opportunity to go backstage and connect with performers, an experience that 8th grader Grace A. described as “too good to be true”.
What truly made this occasion stand out from other school trips was the immersive aspect of it. Teachers from both divisions were given the unique task of structuring some part of that week’s lesson around the play. It was impressive to see the creative and relevant ways teachers were able to use the themes and ideas contained within the play to expand upon concepts pertaining to their specific discipline. For example, a 6th grade math class spent a lesson comparing ticket costs at the group and individual rate, Upper School ethics students used the story to discuss the construct and nature of love, students in AP Music Theory analyzed harmonic and melodic components of the song “Music of the Night”, and Anatomy & Physiology students explored biological deformities like that of the Phantom, looking specifically at genetically, pathogenetically or environmentally induced abnormalities.
Overall, the visit to The Palace Theater and the unique lessons inspired by The Phantom of the Opera provided Chase kids with the opportunity to step outside of the traditional field trip format and into a refreshing,immersive learning experience.