NBC's 'SMASH' MAKE A MUSICAL, School #20 - Watertown Middle School, Boston

NBC's 'SMASH' MAKE A MUSICAL, School #20 - Watertown Middle School, Boston

School #20: Watertown Middle School

Watertown, MA

Reported by: Steven G. Kennedy, Resident Choreographer, iTheatrics

February 17, 2012

Today I found myself in Boston, MA working with our final NBC’s ‘SMASH’ MAKE A MUSICAL school, Watertown Middle School. When I arrived, I saw “Smash” Make A Musical posters everywhere! I was sure this was a school that really wanted to be a part of this new and incredibly amazing program.

I know a lot of you may not be surprised by this, but I didn’t play football as a child. However, I always respected the main principle: teamwork! With every team, there comes a team captain, and unfortunately Watertown Middle School’s “team captain,” Abby Casey, was unable to participate in our initial workshop. Though I was bummed not to meet her, it was understandable – she had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy ten days prior to my arrival.

I was greeted by Victoria Portsmore, a first year teacher who is currently a “long term sub” for Abby. Just two weeks into her first gig, she is not only succeeding as a teacher but also taking on the challenge of codirecting a musical! To me, this is the spirit of “NBC’s ‘Smash’: Make a Musical” and the embodiment of teamwork.

While I chatted with Victoria, reading teacher, Kellie Spillane joined us and they asked brilliant questions. Their main concern was to figure out the best ways to involve the young people who will be a part of the production.  Halfway through our conversation, I was shocked to discover these two had never met!  Even though they had never seen each other before, Victoria and Kellie were on the same page on so many levels. They really understand what educational theater is and what it can accomplish. They have both taken on this shared commitment, all without the “team captain,” Abby, who had initially made all of this happen.

Meeting the students, I wasn’t surprised at their enthusiasm towards this project.  I had a wonderful time and felt that I was part of this newly emerging team.

In our final moments, I was pleasantly surprised that Abby Casey joined us.  One and a half weeks after becoming a mother, Abby came to meet us, knowing this was a groundbreaking meeting. Talk about leadership! Talk about teamwork!

I have a great feeling about Watertown Middle School.  This is a “Smash” school that possesses strength, high energy and to me, one of the most important attributes of success and sustainability: teamwork!

I’m so excited we ended our 20 city tour on such a high note!

“NBC’s ‘Smash’: Make A Musical” program is administered by iTheatrics under the supervision of Timothy Allen McDonald.  For more information, or to apply to become a part of the program, logon to www.MAKEAMUSICAL.ORG.