Middle School Musical
The annual spring middle school musical—a beloved Benchmark tradition—initially began as an after-school club, moved to the stage in the S.M.V. Hamilton, Jr. All-Purpose Room, and now involves all of the middle school students on stage or working behind the scenes in the state-of-the art 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.
2018 Production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast Delights Audiences
After weeks of practice, hard work, and dedication, our middle school students put on three fantastic performances of Disney's Beauty and the Beast on the evenings of Thursday, May 31, and Friday, June 1, 2018, and to the lower school students on the morning of Thursday, May 31, 2018, in the A. Palmer West Performing Arts Center.
In addition to the outstanding performances by our students, we would be remiss if we did not recognize Artistic Director Eric MacDonald, Director and Choreographer Colin McAdoo '98, and the many other faculty members and staff who oversaw set-building, costuming, make-up, and music to make the performances of Disney's Beauty and the Beast first-rate. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!
2019 Middle School Musical
Thursday, May 30, 7:30 PM & Friday, May 31, 7:30 PM
All are invited to enjoy the Middle School's 27th Annual Musical production on Thursday, May 30, and Friday, May 31, in the A. Palmer West Performing Arts Center. Admission is free and tickets are not required!
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