December 15, 2018

From Shakespearean Tragedy to Musical Fantasy: A Season of Adventure in the Arts

The elegant, historic Ebell Theatre was a perfect setting for Pacifica’s magnificent production of Macbeth. More than 62 students from ages 6 – 18 brought life to the beautiful lines of Shakespeare. The music, song, and dance in the richly costumed production allowed students to showcase their many and diverse talents in a meaningful way that touched audiences deeply. The three performances were well attended, and the standing ovations revived were well deserved.

Pacifica’s production of Macbeth was ambitious and unique. Commonly, high school productions of Shakespeare cut out large chunks of text, eliminating parts and characters. In the Pacifica production, few lines were cut, and all five acts, with scenes intact, were performed. More importantly, the students understood the text and the motivation behind it, and conveyed that depth of meaning to a touched and astounded audience. Flying witches, a haunting cello, pounding drums, and a mesmerizing “dream sequence” dance contributed to the spectacle.

That captivating dance number, in fact, was originally conceived for performance at the nationally recognized Utah Shakespeare Festival High School Competition, which many Pacifica students attended in October. At the festival, Pacifica students saw performances, took workshops, and competed in acting, dance, and music categories. Impressively, they earned superior rankings in each and brought home an especially coveted award in the dance category. College credit was available to them, and there was time to tour one of the most beautiful national landmarks in the United States—Cedar Breaks National Monument. Students felt the majesty and power of God, and connected to an otherworldliness that they then recreated on the stage in Macbeth. With new friendships formed and existing relationships deepened, Pacifica’s theatre department has closed the curtain on a successful Shakespeare season and looks forward to creating another outstanding theatrical experience for audiences in the spring.

In March, nineteen Pacifica students will participate in The California State Thespian Festival at Upland High School. They will perform, learn, and compete under the tutelage of working theatre professionals. Their sharpened skills, enhanced creativity, and reinvigorated spirits are sure be on display as they lead audiences on a great theatrical adventure “into the woods”.

Pacifica’s spring production, Into the Woods, is a beloved classic musical presenting a large and lavish twist on traditional fairy tales – and what comes after “happily ever after”. Study Guides will accompany this exciting and important cautionary tale which explores themes of avarice, ambition, poverty, goodness, forgiveness, honesty, and most importantly, love. The musical will once again be staged at The Ebell Theatre, and will use live, professional orchestration, vivid fairy tale themed costumes, and a colorful, enticing set. Pacifica’s dancers, singers, actors, and musicians will perform alongside a children’s cast, broadening its appeal to a wider community base. This exciting musical, showing April 5 and 6, 2019, is not to be missed.

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