North Merrick School District’s Theatre Arts production of We’re Baaack!!! once again delighted audiences with performances on March 25 and 26 in the Brookside auditorium.
Sixth grade students from Camp Avenue, H.D. Fayette, and Old Mill Road Schools formed an ensemble cast and art and stage crews to present selected scenes and songs from Annie, Shrek, and Bye Bye Birdie.
The three musicals were previously staged by Theatre Arts and chosen for this year’s performance for their themes of overcoming adversity, resiliency, and positivity. The Theatre Arts performance of Shrek was cancelled in 2020 and the theater program was suspended in 2021 due to pandemic restrictions.
Theatre Arts is led by faculty director and choreographer Joyce Kelley and musical director Gail Appel with assistance this year from Kristin Seaman, Lisa Sokol, Olivia Taylor, and Christine Vanella.
Ms. Kelley saw this production as an opportunity for a teaching moment and history lesson. She created the characters of a professor and narrators in transition points between the musicals to directly discuss the impact of the pandemic on the school community and to celebrate the human spirit.
The performance ends on an uplifting note with a surprise character reveal during the finale in which the entire cast sings “Now I’m a Believer” from Shrek.