Barringer Road and Fisher elementary third and fourth graders, and all Jarvis Middle School and CVA students got a sneak peak at four scenes from CVA Drama Club’s upcoming production of “Bye Bye Birdie” on Wednesday, Mar. 4.
The musical is satire of American life in 1958, a time of rotary telephones and the birth of television. Mark Bunce, CVA chorus teacher and the show’s director said the era’s traditional family and patriotic themes are foreign to most students. His high school performers struggled to understand the characters. So, it is not surprise that the story can seem even stranger to a today’s audience.
“We had to teach our actors and actresses how to hold and dial a rotary phone. They wanted to hold the handset away from their heads like a cell phone when they dialed,” he said.
He hoped that through Wednesday’s presentation, he could expose the elementary students to a different time in America’s past.
In addition he hoped he create some excitement among the audience for drama and the arts and to expose them to live performance.
“Videos have replaced live performance in school. We hope the students will see and appreciate the fun and power of live music and live acting,” he said.
“Bye Bye Birdie” performances are Thursday, Mar. 5 at 7 p.m., Friday, Mar. 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Mar. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Burton T. Seymour Auditorium at Central Valley Academy, 111 Frederick St., Ilion, NY.