B-P pilots children’s theater program

Intermediate school students to stage ‘Charlotte’s Web’ in April

Each spring, Broadalbin-Perth High School stages a Broadway-style musical, complete with elaborate costumes and sets. Students do it all, both on stage and behind the scenes, with more than 100 high schoolers participating each year. Younger children pack the auditorium for these performances, many of them dreaming of the day they, too, will take center stage.

That day will be much closer for the B-P Intermediate School students who are auditioning for the school’s inaugural elementary drama production this week. Broadalbin-Perth is piloting the program this year, under the direction of Jennifer Szumowski, for students in grades 3-5. Szumowski has chosen a one-act version of the beloved classic “Charlotte’s Web” for the program’s first production, which will be performed April 26-27 on the stage in the middle school gymnasium.

Szumowski hopes as many as 50 children will be involved in the program this year, and she is seeking grant funding and corporate sponsorships to help pay for supplies for sets and costumes. She expects the program to be self-sustainable after this year, as the district will reinvest proceeds from ticket sales back into the program.

Although the first auditions just took place on Monday, Szumowski is already looking down the road to the 2019-20 school year, when the district’s transformed pre-K through grade 6 elementary school will open in the existing Perth building. That year, Szumowski envisions expanding the elementary drama program to include students in grades K-6, with the planned elementary performance space serving as the program’s home.