'Phantom' Field Trip
Many students may never have the opportunity to step into a majestic, historic theater and enjoy a live theatrical performance, which is just one of the reasons why Monomoy Regional Middle School administrators and teachers work tirelessly each year to plan a whole-school field trip to regional theaters to attend a professional musical production.
Three years ago, the school traveled to Boston to see “Mary Poppins.” Two years ago, MRMS students and faculty enjoyed an amazing performance of “Billy Elliot.” Last year, everyone enjoyed “In the Heights,” the play written by Lin Manuel Miranda as a college senior at Wesleyan University before he penned the Broadway smash hit “Hamilton.” And this year, nearly 500 MRMS students and staff traveled to the Providence Performing Arts Center to experience “Phantom of the Opera,” the longest-running Broadway musical ever produced!
MRMS principal Mark Wilson has been an ardent supporter of these cultural experiences from the start, personally contacting the theaters and organizing the event. From his perspective, “The community support for these trips has been extraordinary. Our school received generous grants from the Chatham Cultural Council, the Harwich Cultural Council, the Friends of the Performing Arts, and the Art of Charity to help offset the costs of the trip, which made these exciting experiences affordable and available to every student. In addition, our staff willingly attends to the daunting logistics and voluntarily agrees to an extended school day, just for the reward of seeing our students return with lasting memories of incredible performances set to timeless music!”
Upon returning from the performance, many students downloaded the soundtrack to their personal electronic devices, while others reminisced about their favorite scene or song.
In the week leading up to the trip, MRMS teachers discussed the story with students, which gave them a framework to better understand the play and an ability to analyze it afterward, and taking an interdisciplinary approach to the arts is common throughout the year at MRMS. The school is committed to making sure students have a chance to participate in theatrical experiences they might not otherwise enjoy, discussing the timeless themes raised through the play’s music and dialogue, and reflecting on what they have experienced together.
The field trip would not have been possible without the support of a number of local organizations that provided generous grant funding to MRMS. The school thanks the Art of Charity, the Chatham Cultural Council, the Harwich Cultural Council, and MRMS Friends of the Performing Arts for their generous contributions. In addition, the Providence Performing Arts Center’s school discount, combined with the grant funding, made the trip extremely reasonable, and no student was turned away because of need.
Will this tradition continue? With 200-plus thank you notes on the principal’s desk, it would appear the collective efforts of the Monomoy team are definitely appreciated by the students, and so the school will certainly work to keep providing “unexpected and extraordinary experiences” like this one as a regular part of their varied offerings.
A Chili Cook-off will be held at the middle school cafeteria from noon to 2 p.m. at Saturday, April 6. There will be prizes for the best chili, and all attendees will participate as judges. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. Proceeds benefit Monomoy families in need. To enter the chili cook-off email Joy Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coffee and Conversation
Adults who have experienced a loss can come to the next Coffee and Conversation session at the Monomoy Regional Middle School Library on April 8 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The session will be facilitated by school counselors Kristen Hayden and Susan Whitcomb; special guest on April 8 will be grief counselor Peggy Wilber. For more information, email email@example.com.