2012-08-03 / Community

Rockaway Park High School Goes To Broadway

By Joseph Kindred, Student, Rockaway Park High School for Environmental Sustainability

Forty-five lucky students from Rockaway Park High School for Environmental Sustainability attended a production of the Tony Award winning musical FELA! on July 18. The students who attended the Broadway musical are all participating in the Summer Bridge Program. The Summer Bridge Program is an innovative hybrid of theatre arts and film production with a focus on conservation.

Rockaway Park High School for Environmental Sustainability‘ s bridge program provides students with exciting learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom. Participants in the program are able to experience the omnipresent nature of education as they visit places such as Broadway in Manhattan and Marina 59 in Far Rockaway. The Summer Bridge Program provides students with the opportunity to stay ahead of the game by earning credits in July and August.

The students in the first session of Summer Bridges were able to earn an English credit in just two weeks and go on several trips. The most recent adventure found students at a Broadway musical. The show was pretty unique; the cast members interacted with the audience most of the time.

The show is based on the life of Fela Kuti, who is known for creating Afrobeat, which combines jazz and ’70s style funk to create a unique sound

Fela is also known as a human rights activist. Students had a chance to go behind the scenes and meet the stage director; they even got a chance to meet Sahr Ngaujah who played the role of Fela.

Several students expressed positive feedback after the performance. Troy Lyne, junior at Rockaway Park High School for Environmental Sustainability, said, “I was blown away with the amazing songs and the dancing from the musical FELA!”

One student said, “If it wasn’t for Rockaway Park High School I would never have had a chance to see a show on Broadway.” Principal Jennifer Connolly just wants to make a difference in children’s lives. Jaequan Ramos, another junior at the school, said that “the dancing was good; the music was amazing and I also learned a lot about the African heritage.”

Rockaway Park High School is starting their second session of Summer Bridges, which will allow students to get a credit in Ecology. The students can’t wait to see what new and exciting surprises Principal Connolly has in store for them.

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