Years ago, my ninth-grade daughter learned that she would not be able to play both tennis and volleyball, because they occurred during the same season. Not content to let my daughter lounge around watching One Tree Hill reruns, my wife required my daughter to try out for our spring musical, Bye Bye Birdie. While initially reluctant, my daughter wound up participating in musicals all four years of high school and to this day has a deep appreciation for the theater.
I tell this story on the heels of watching our Lower School musical, My Son Pinocchio, Jr. and marveling at the large cast, fabulous costuming, and professional staging. Jacob Juneau as Geppetto and Anna Ciccozi as the Blue Fairy were particularly outstanding, but Tyler Bloomfield was a definite showstopper as Professore Buonragazzo, the mad scientist. The show is short, only an hour or so, but it is well worth watching and supporting our youngest thespians.
The arts at an independent school often go unremarked upon except for times of performance, and in this, I am as guilty as anyone else, but it is also an amazing thing to watch when students work so hard for so long to create a performance. It is a magical transformation at any level, and to see the intensity and dedication our youngest students have demonstrated in creating a musical still amazes me even after watching student theater for many years.
Having watched my daughter become enamored with Les Miserables, Rent, and Sweeny Todd, and listening to her sing show tunes mixed in with Taylor Swift and 50 Cent, I am reminded that independent schools are incredible incubators, not only for talent, but also for interest. With their participation in the Lower School musical, our Ellis Hall students have already begun a lifetime of enjoyment, and their lives will be all the richer for it.
So let me encourage our parents and students to take an hour out of your weekend to go and support our burgeoning pool of acting talent. It is a truly great part of what makes North Cross a special place.
Christian J. Proctor, PhD
Head of School
Christian J. Proctor, PhD
Dr. Proctor, the ninth head of school at North Cross since 2011, has more than 26 years of experience in education, 15 of which have been at the head of school level. He has served as headmaster at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, South Carolina, St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Metairie, Louisiana, Grace Episcopal School in Monroe, Louisiana, and as Interim Headmaster at Wesley Academy in Houston, Texas. In each location, Dr. Proctor’s tenure was marked by creativity, innovation, and school growth.