Education production aims to Get Schooled

Musical brings student teacher experience on stage 

Left to right: Chris Barletta, Charles Douglas, Rayce Veitch, Sophia Wang, and Briana Courtemanche are part of the team putting on What the PRAC: Get Schooled!`
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Teachers will break into song and dance Thursday and Friday when the faculty of education stages an original production.

What the PRAC: Get Schooled! will be playing at Duncan McArthur Hall and will be free to the public. The play explores the trials and tribulations of teaching students, and all the missteps and successes the degree entails.

Audience members are encouraged to donate, with all funds going towards supporting Systema Kingston, which provides students from a low socio-economic background access to music lessons and instruments.

“It’s a chance for students to experience music first-hand,” Chris Barletta, a student involved in the production, said. “For grades one to five, it’s this really immersive after-school program.”

In addition to supporting a good cause, the evening will showcase the collaboration of creative minds across the faculty of education. This year will be the first time the show will be completely written, produced, and performed by faculty, students, and staff, and speaks to the experiences of education students.

“The creative team this year decided to write, instead of buying [a script]. We have an original one that’s all about the school,” said ACE coordinator Aynne Johnston.

According to Johnston, the diverse creative talents of ACE and ConEd students allow them to find their leadership within the group.

“We have a potpourri of artistic [talents],” she said. “We had the right people who wanted to be involved in the musical, and they were all willing to step into leadership roles. It doesn’t happen very often, but if you have the right people in the room, [they’ll step up].”

The Journal sat down with the production’s creative team, including playwright Charles Douglas, songwriter Rayce Veitch, and choreographer Briana Courtemanche, along with conducter Sophia Wang and composer Chris Barletta.

Douglas, Veitch, Courtemanche, Barletta, and Wang were quick to point out that the collaboration behind the show was reflected in its plot.

“It’s really [a story] about a collaborative unit of people trying to do their best,” Veitch said.

The collaboration in both the program and leadership behind the show was evident: the team’s reliance on each other is their biggest asset, they said.

“I wrote the arrangements, Rayce wrote the song, and then Chris turned that into Orchestra,” Barletta said.

While the show will focus on topics relating to education students, it’s relatable for everyone. Topics range from the intricacies of mental health, to the idea that everyone is just doing the best they can; whether they’re a teacher in front of class, a student preparing to graduate or a staff member maintaining the building. 

In addition to the real challenges teaching students face, there are also lighter issues dealt with in the show. “There’s a whole number based around when the character finds out that everyone is going to [do their practicum at] KCVI, and they are going to Belleville,” Barletta said.

Despite the dreaded practicum in Belleville, all members of the show will be at Duncan McArthur on Thursday and Friday to present the original What the PRAC: Get Schooled!

Corrections

February 6, 2019

This story incorrectly gave Wang's role as a conductor. She is a composer. The story also misatributed Barletta's quote to Douglas and since been corrected. 

The Journal regrets the error.

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