Since this year’s summer ACE started at St. Mary’s Academy Charter School, students and staff have worked hard on creating a fun-filled learning environment.
The overall theme of this summer program has been “Oceans,” and the staff has created lessons about marine life and even named the kindergarten through 3rd-grade teams after some of their favorite sea creatures. The best behaved students in each class period got to hold their team’s flags as a reward.
Many special guests came and visited, such as the Texas Zoo, the Texas State Aquarium and, most importantly, the Magik Theatre which greatly inspired SMACS theater students to be more comfortable with singing, dancing and acting on stage.
One of the many exciting things that the students worked on was the End of ACE showcase, which consisted of a fashion show, an art show and the End of Summer Musical. The fine arts students displayed their favorite pieces of work that they have been working hard on all summer under the instruction of Michael Puente. The grand finale was the musical that all of the theater students have been working to perfect since the first week of ACE. They sang and danced to various Disney songs, and some of them even acted in small skits.
First-grade and some older students performed “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King” with all of the cast dressed up as different animals and characters from the movie. For the next number, 2nd-graders played fish that sang and dance around the stage to “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid.”
The older girls and boys played the main cast such as Ariel’s sisters, King Triton, Ursula and her eels and Sebastian, and Ariel was played by McKenzie Retzloff (6th grade). After that, Miss Hailee opened up with “Belle (Little Town)’’ from “Beauty and the Beast” before kindergarten and the main cast of older students sang “Be Our Guest.” The second to last song was “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin” sung by Mr. Lopez and Kara Bartlett, ACE’s theater teachers and production directors.
Then the cast did a small skit before all of the students came back on stage and sang “What Time Is It” from “High School Musical 2.” Lopez choreographed all of the dances and made sure to take all the time the students needed to learn the songs. He and Miss Kara stayed after hours working on sets and costumes for the students as well as their own number.
This production also would not have been possible without the help of students and staff who spent hours getting everything ready and prepared.