The King and I (2013)
PHS presented Into the Woods on March 21-24, 2013.
HERSHEY APOLLO AWARD NOMINATIONS:
- Lead Actress in a Musical-Mary Albus
- Outstanding Featured Performer-Naomi Pena
- Outstanding Student Orchestra
- Outstanding Dance Number- Small House of Uncle Thomas
- Supporting Actress-Abby Swartz
- utstanding Musical
In 1862 as part of King Mongkut of Siam’s desire for modernization and change, he hired Anna Leonowens, a British school teacher, to instruct his many royal children. While inviting in the aesthetic and modernization of the Western world, he was desperate to keep at bay European countries striving for dominance. By inviting them to cross his borders, he opened his country and himself to scrutiny. No one enjoys scrutiny. And yet, he saw that the experience of openness and education in the ways of others could provide great knowledge for his people. He was willing to work toward the balance of ego and greater good. Doing so can be very scary…as Anna would say, “Very scary, indeed.” Although he was many things, King Mongkut was not shy about fighting for what was right. Better yet, he wasn’t afraid to question what exactly that was.
Over the past months, I’ve watched more than 130 district students come together and put their fears aside to work toward the rewarding and sincere musical The King and I. They have eaten strange food, experimented with foreign accents, and lived the song “Getting to Know You.” As they learned an authentic Siamese ballet, were forced to play “Siam Says,” and even experienced playing a Broadway score, they were truly pushed to admit that they were involved in something they knew little about. Imagine that…teenagers admitting that they don’t know everything. From the youngest member of our production, just three years old, to our very talented high school participants, each has brought their unique personalities to our stage. Along the way, more than 70 elementary students were exposed to classic Broadway tunes and really showed us the future face of Palmyra theater. I can tell you as their director, that I can’t wait to share with you what is to come.
All of this could not have been accomplished without the very talented production team behind the Palmyra High School musicals. Their passion and dedication is to be admired, and their talents and skills can clearly be seen in every detail of this production. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musicals are a beast for any team crazy enough to take them on. I thank you all for your willingness to challenge our students and expose them to this timeless classic. My greatest thanks, of course, goes to my family. Mark, Rosemary, and Aaron, your support means the world.