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“Crumpled Classics” Performed at Northview

Student actors perform live on stage during "Crumpled Classics" performance.

March 14. 2022 - Audience members got a taste of romance, adventure, comedy, and suspense in Northview High School’s production of the play “Crumpled Classics.” This story gives a modern spin to famous classic literature stories, such as “Romeo and Juliet,” “Frankenstein”, “King Arthur”, “Sherlock Holmes”, and “Phantom of the Opera”. 

“Every year the students show their commitment to the process,” said Barbara Raney, paraprofessional and director of the play. “We make adjustments to the cast and add in characters to fit the needs and abilities of our students. We wrote in an “artist” role for a student who likes to color. We also wrote in ballet dancers for a small group of students who like to dance. Adding in these roles allowed these students to participate in this year’s show.”

The entire cast and crew included nearly 35 students. They have been rehearsing consistently for the past eight weeks and auditions took place in December. 

“It’s been an inspiring journey,” said 9th grader Johnathan Kindell. “I play Mr. Collins and he is the person who gives a speech and makes sure that the play is running smoothly till the end. I signed up to participate because I wanted to perform in front of an audience. I got a little nervous at times, but I made it through.” 

Student cast members work on soft skills like communication, listening, and leadership. However, they also work towards achieving their IEP goals. 

“That’s a component of the experience that people don’t see,” said Trish Billeau, reading specialist and director of the play. “We’re working on reading, speaking, and vocabulary, so there is an academic component. Having the students follow a schedule, take on a role, practice, and interact with their peers allows them to achieve some IEP goals.” 

Jalen Rodgers has supported the play from backstage throughout his high school career. For his final year, he took center stage and assumed the role of an inspector in “Phantom of the Opera.” Jalen is non-verbal and uses his electronic core board to communicate. 11th Grader Kimmora Tucker says everyone's investment into practicing made for a perfect live show. 

“We were always ready for rehearsals and ready to read our lines,” said Tucker. “It’s a little scary at first, being on stage, but once you get up there it’s a lot of fun.”

Billeau and Raney would like to thank the Special Education Foundation for a $2,000 grant that was used to purchase the rights to the play, costumes, and props. A portion of the funds was also used to take students to see a live theater performance at the The St. Louis Black Rep. Billeau and Raney are proud of all the students' hard work and for having the courage to take on a role and perform.