The myth of Zombies originated in Haiti back in the 17th century and the stories told centuries ago were anything but pleasant. Today, Zombies have had a ‘rebrand’ and become a huge part of pop culture - so much so that when Director Leisha-Jadyn Horin asked BES students what theme they wanted for their play they chose none other than these reanimated corpses with a Disney Princess twist.
Fast forward to this month, Bronxville Elementary School students are performing an original play by Ms. Horin called MonstroCity. The play is for anyone in grades 3-5 who wants to audition; there is a part for every student who wants to participate. In fact, so many students expressed interest that there are two casts with about 75 students in each! Generally speaking, third grade students are in the chorus, fourth graders have group lines and the leads belong to students in the fifth grade.
Student interest in this production underscores the need that the Bronxville PTA saw a few years back when there wasn’t an elementary school musical. Now, the PTA funds an annual production, bringing in talent like Ms. Horin.
PTA member Alanna Leavell says that she and her fellow PTA members were always impressed by the productions at the middle and high school level, but saw a gap - an opportunity - to stage a production for the younger students, particularly for those who may not gravitate to sports or other extracurriculars available to younger students. As an organization they said, “Let’s make this happen!
“We wanted to help students have the amazing opportunity that they get in middle school to be part of the theater experience, and by that we mean being part of a group that is supportive and working together, “ said Ms. Leavell. “The time frame in which this production happens is a whirlwind - and the rehearsal schedule is rigorous - but when the curtain goes up, they create magic.”