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Community

It’s a wrap!

February 29, 2024

Before the break, our talented theater students transported audiences into a certain captivating, magical realm with their delightful rendition of “PUFFS; Or, Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic” [One Act Edition for Young Wizards]. Students worked for weeks on stage and behind the scenes to bring the hilarious, heartwarming, and whimsical world of wizardry to life. Congratulations to all Chargers who performed or helped in the production. It was truly magical!

Written by Jack Swingle, Digital Content Specialist

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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A Taste of the Arts

October 5, 2023

You’ve seen the emails. Maybe you’ve purchased tickets for a show. Perhaps you’ve visited the silent auction and checked out the raffle item. But what is A Taste of the Arts?

Our fall community-building events have one primary goal: to foster a sense of connection amongst our families, students, employees, and community partners. That might be created through a reception, or a community game night, or perhaps, as it is this year, through an arts showcase (or should I say extravaganza?).

When we first began brainstorming a dinner theater, our eyes immediately became bigger than our stomachs (pun intended!). We quickly realized we couldn’t stop with a stage performance. There were too many other artistic talents in our midst! What about our pianists? Our string students, dancers, visual artists, and our behind-the-scenes arts technicians?

More than a mere taste, we quickly found ourselves looking at a Thanksgiving Feast of the Arts—an endeavor both exhilarating and daunting.

However, thanks to the remarkable creative vision of Glen Matthews and his team, we found ways to bring this vision to life. Weaving together the incredible talents of our students, the generosity of our parents and our alumni, and the extraordinary effort of employees, the Taste of the Arts is a 4-night showstopping showcase. More than that, however, it is a testament to our amazing community—to our many talents, the strength of our connection to each other, and to CA’s mission.

Imagine it. Walking up, you are greeted with a giant Charger puppet. Yes, you read that correctly: a puppet. Too tall to bring inside, it dances across the Quad welcoming you, up the red carpet, to a magical evening.

When you enter Berger Hall, your eyes need time to adjust. Do you direct your attention to the walls adorned with original pieces of work created by our students? Or to the baskets up for auction, created with time and love by groups of parents from each grade? Perhaps, instead, you check in, chatting with friends, as music floats around you (possibly even played by a group of talented young people).

While you wait for your party to arrive, you peruse the auction table and look over the details of our featured raffle. A $20,000 trip to France? Your mind whirls at the possibilities. Yes, please!

As you picture yourself in Paris, maybe you wander towards the balcony. What’s that? Scarf dancers? Yes! It is. Performing before dinner on Friday and Saturday, these performers stretch your imagination as they glide through the space below.

Bringing you back to reality, a student donned in a Taste of the Arts t-shirt—perhaps one of our many performers or theater technicians (be sure to ask!)—shares news that the doors have opened. It is time for dinner.

You make your way down the steps of the theater to your seat. But wait! You aren’t sitting in the audience, are you? No. You go up to the stage where tables are set up all around…another stage? Yes. Another one! Built on top of this one.

Settling into your seat, you take in the view, noticing the flowers (ahem…handmade by our students). You greet your tablemates. Perhaps you’re next to a parent who helped with costumes. You might have

an alum, who has returned to campus after missing out on art performances during the pandemic. Or maybe you brought a full table of guests to support someone, on stage or behind the scenes.

Returning from the buffet, you notice your placemat, featuring the names and logos of so many businesses who have helped make this performance possible. (Don’t worry—it’s okay if you spill on your friends’ business logo! We have new placemats for each night.)

After dinner and dessert, as our talented pianists play, you find yourself relaxing. The lights dim and figures appear on the stage. As the lights come up, you pause. The faces you see – why, it’s the same faces of those who helped you to your seat and bussed your table! How did they get up there so fast? As soon as they start to sing, you are immediately lost in the show.

At the end of the night, you’ll go home full—not just from the delicious food, but from the creativity and talents of this community. You’ll overflow with appreciation, not only for the magic of the final event, but for the months of creativity, collaboration, and innovation that took to bring it to fruition—for a truly mission-driven, beautiful taste of all the arts here at Cary Academy.

So, I must express my deep appreciation to everyone in this community who gave of themselves and pulled together to make this magical event happen.

(Bummed you missed out on an incredible evening? You still have a chance! Limited first-come, first-served tickets are still available for our Friday performance.)

Written by Ali Page, Director of Development

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The cast of The Theory of Relativity

Art

Meet the Company of ‘The Theory of Relativity’

February 25, 2021

The cast and crew of this year’s Upper School extracurricular theater production have been in rehearsals for just over a month and are looking forward to sharing a new musical theater piece with the CA community.

The Theory of Relativity by Drama Desk Award nominees Neil Bartram and Brian Hill is a song cycle inspired by the life experiences of college students and created with young performers in mind.  Through songs and monologues, the characters experience “the joys and heartbreaks, the liaisons and losses, the inevitability and wonder of human connection.” [mitshows.com]

While there will be no live performances, the company will be recording the production over a series of Flex Days in April. Tickets to view the completed production online will go on sale at the end of April.

The sixteen-member cast includes Alex Lim ‘22, Arielle Curtis ‘21, Brandon Yi ‘21, Chioma Modilim ‘22, Claire Ferris ‘21, Clay Thornton ‘21, Eden Rosenbaum ‘21, Hannah Gordon ‘21, Jordan Miller ‘22, Kathryn Chao ‘21, Koen Chao ‘23, Kyle Murphy ‘21, Mickey Lewis ‘23, Samantha Hoffman ‘21, Sara Martin ‘21, and Vibhav Nandagiri ‘21.

Christina Polge ‘22, Frances Smyth ‘24, and Riley Moore ‘23 are Stage Managers. The Tech/Production crew includes Abby Smetana ‘23, Bella Huang ’24, Claire Moorhead ‘24, Hanorah Alapati ’24, Jay Sihm ‘23, Kendyl George ‘22, Laila Taylor ‘24, Nathan Rudy ‘23, Nikhil Jagannath ‘23, Renn Guard ‘22, Samantha Dorfman ‘23, and Vikram Kommareddi ‘23.

The orchestra features Gwynn Nowell ‘21, Joshua Kendall ‘23, Marvin Koonce ‘21, Oliver Wang ‘22, Phoebe Ellison ‘21, William Coley ‘22, and Xavier deSouza ’21.

Written by Dan Smith, Digital Content Producer and Social Media Manager

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Music Man set

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Bringing The Music Man to life

January 31, 2019

The Arts play an essential role in the student experience at Cary Academy, encouraging play, curiosity, experimentation and risk taking. In classes and in extra or co-curricular pursuits, we focus on building collaborative teams and ensembles as we work as a group of diverse individuals all committed to a common goal.

This month, we celebrate collaboration as we move towards opening night of The Music Man on February 7.  Audiences will witness the fruit of our labors during the performances, but they may not be fully aware of the months-long efforts of faculty, students, and volunteers in building this show. Here’s a snapshot of the various ensembles that have come together to bring this American classic to our stage:

Months of preparation for understanding the challenges of The Music Man were explored before the show was even announced.  The Design Team–consisting of faculty representing Theater, Chorus, Dance, Band, Orchestra, Visual Art, Technical Theater, as well as volunteers for costume design and construction, and a guest artist for set design–met weekly or even bi-weekly to search for a common understanding of the The Music Man world.

Using principles of design thinking, the team began with questions such as what does it look/smell/sound/feel and taste like. In-depth research on the cultural, architectural, linguistic, musical, and other roots of the musical informed their design decisions. These new-found understandings carried forward to auditions and rehearsals, where the real work of building collaborative teams began.

Student teams have worked tirelessly to flesh out the design concepts. These teams include the Art Crew, Tech Crew, Wind and String Ensembles, Stage Managers and, of course, Performers.  Prototypes have been made, tested and revised, demonstrating that the iterative process is essential to building a show. The aim is not to reproduce previous performances or films of this show but to make this production unique to these students and audiences at this time and in this space.

But beyond promoting a deep dive into the production process, something else happens that is the glue that holds such diverse people together. New friendships are forged; lessons of persistence and grit are found in every rehearsal. Each individual’s growth strengthens the ensemble and enriches all who witness the work.

Plenty of tickets remain for all performances. We’d love to see full houses for each performance of The Music ManTickets are available here.

Written by Michael Hayes, Fine & Performing Arts Director

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Mission Accomplished

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