Performing arts students took to the stage for the first Arts Night of the school year on Friday, October 26th, showcasing their many talents.
The evening began with instrumental and vocal music performances, which included songs from various genres. "In keeping with this year’s focus on Millbrook’s core value of respect, we've been discussing how to respect an audience by thinking not only about the music being played but also about presentation," said Director of Instrumental Music Brian Coughlin. Keeping this in mind, Mr. Coughlin's students not only spent time perfecting their musical pieces, but also practiced how to best enter the stage, engage the audience, bowing, and exiting. "During these in-depth rehearsals, we found ourselves encountering opportunities to improve the audience experience, and the hard work of our students was certainly evident when it came time to perform," said Mr. Coughlin.
Following the instrumental music performances, performing arts students engaged the audience with six one-minute monologues and improvisation. The monologue segment of the evening, presented by a few students from Performance Portfolio, demonstrated a polished and professional approach to the work. The actors brought focus and strong characters to the stage.
"The seventeen students in our fall improv class, "Bobby and Company," made an impressive debut, introducing four short-form games," said Director of Theater Elaine Lifter. The games were Hitchhiker, introduced by Jason Ruszkowski '19, First Line, Last Line, introduced by Shakur Mohammed '22, Sports Center, introduced by Mason Rice '21, and lastly, Late to Arts Night, introduced by Anna Wilson '21. "Bobby and Company MC’s were Noah Schwartz '20 and Anya Rule '22, who introduced the evening and got the crowd fired up for a fun evening of improv," said Ms. Lifter.
The evening concluded with a dance performance from Hope Murphy '20, which was a powerful piece of prose, made even more poignant by the movement that matched it. "Dance students have been focusing on the importance or preparedness for performance," said Director of Dance Leighann Kowalsky. "Hope, who takes private dance lessons at Millbrook, wanted to collaborate with myself to learn more about movement built for a dance to the spoken word. Her thoughtfulness and diligence in practicing were evident when she took to the stage at Arts Night," said Ms. Kowalsky.
Dilan Peters '19, Andrew Kimball '20, and Lindsay Briggs '20 hosted the event, with Jack Bloom '20 and Mallory Stafford '29 managed lighting and sound.
With their first Arts Night behind them, students have turned their attention to preparing for both the fall play
and the next arts night.
Congratulations to all!
Learn more about the arts at Millbrook here
and view photos from arts night here