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GROSSE POINTE NEWS, MARCH 15, 2012

SCHOOLS | 3A II

Jumping rope for heart For one week in February, all nine elementary schools participated in the annual Jump Rope for Heart event, an American Heart Association-sponsored fundraiser. Grosse Pointe public school physical education teachers have participated in the event for more than 15 years, with students jumping rope and completing other activities during their gym classes. This year, the schools raised a combined $24,237, all of which benefits association research and programs. “Thank you to all Grosse Pointe families and community for their support with our annual

Jump Rope for Heart events,” said Deborah Raab, elementary physical education department chair.

PHOTOS BY RENEE LANDUYT

Left, Elise Harr, of Maire Elementary School, adjusts her footing before jumping rope. Above, Annie Norberg and Sophia Taylor, of Kerby Elementary School, double jump the rope, as Grace Babiarz and Anna Haran twirl it. Above right, Finn Schudich, of Maire, amazes onlookers as he hops the rope. Right, James Michael, of Ferry Elementary School, concentrates hard on learning to jump rope.

Brownell and the beast

PHOTO BY RENEE LANDUYT

Brownell Middle School’s “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.” cast, in costume, during a recent dress rehearsal. By A.J. Hakim Staff Writer

For the first time in school history, Brownell Middle School Productions presents a junior retelling of Belle and the beast’s classic journey into love and enchantment with its performance, “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.” In all, the school features six performances, four matinees and two evening shows, with the matinees already sold out. Evening performances are 7 p.m. Thursday, March 29, and Friday, March 30, at Brownell’s multi-purpose room. It’s the second musical held at the new facil-

ity. Susan Dempsey directs the show alongside her longtime production team — Carolyn Gross (musical director), Dan Vicary (technical director) and Tammy Duffield (producer). The four have collaborated for more than 10 years. The show marks the school’s 11th anniversary in Broadway productions. Because it’s a junior version, running time is shorter than the original and songs written in a key better suited for middle school voices, of which there are aplenty. Production includes a cast of more than 100 students, in what’s become a hallmark of the school’s

musicals. According to Duffield, Brownell enforces a no-cut policy. Meaning, she assigns roles to all students interested. So while the performance requires only 20 cast members, all students will perform on stage. “We strongly believe that middle school is the perfect time to explore opportunities, to take a chance, and so participation is encouraged,” Duffield said. “This means we usually end up with nearly 100 students involved in a show that calls for only 20. The challenges include finding just the right spot for each person, managing them on

stage (and off), training and instructing every child, trying to accommodate the countless conflicting schedules, and costuming the lot. “Frankly, I am always a little surprised how it seems to come together. So many children, so many parts, so many things that could go wrong. But without fail, for over 10 years now, the show goes on and 100 little stars are born.” Ticket prices range between $8 and $10 and are available beginning March 19. Senior gold cards are honored. For tickets or more information, contact Tammy Duffield at tamera.duffield@gpschools.org.

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Grosse Pointe News  

Third of three general excellence issues

Grosse Pointe News  

Third of three general excellence issues

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