Middle School Musical
The annual spring middle school musical—a beloved Benchmark tradition— involves all of the middle school students on stage or working behind the scenes in the A. Palmer West Performing Arts Center.
The musical, which has "taken on a life of its own and has kept going because of the students' interest," allows middle school students to get a taste of musical theatre in all aspects—acting, dancing, singing, set design and construction, and technical behind-the-scenes action such as lighting and curtain cues—often for the first time. It also allows students to:
- increase their responsibility and involvement from one year to the next as they mature and become more confident in their abilities
- learn how to work on a time-intensive project while still keeping up with schoolwork which encourages the use the self-advocacy and time management skills
- come together to achieve a common goal, as it is one of the few times that the students and staff really have to work together on a common project
Led by Middle School Teacher Dr. Eric MacDonald (Creative Director), Benchmark Alumnus Colin McAdoo '98 (Director/Choreographer), and the countless efforts of numerous staff members, each year’s show is a “not-to-miss” event.
It [the middle school musical] is a true project-based learning experience that is a key component of the Benchmark experience. It takes students using all the 21st century skills they have learned in classes—critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration, and innovation—to pull off a task that at one point feels impossible.
Eleanor Gensemer, Head of Middle School
Assistant Head of School & Middle School Musical Creative Director