Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Play is the Thing...

Did you every hear of a victory with no blood?
Did you think it could happen--
Did you ever think it really would?

Don't you know that it happened right here?
1776  was the year!
Let's all give a rousing cheer:


Remember, you can click any picture to make it larger.

The kids had been practicing hard: Going over their lines and how they should say them.  Memorizing the lyrics to all the original songs and rehearsing the dance moves that accompany them.  All the while, they were learning the amazing historical events that happened right near the Perkins School, and one of the most unusual battles of the American Revolution.

As Principal Brawer explained while welcoming friends and parents to the production, "History is filled with many battles, in which many people were killed, and yet they accomplished nothing.  What happened here at Dorchester Heights was a battle where no one was killed and it forced the British to leave Boston.  That's something important to celebrate.  This play also proves Evaculation Day is a real holiday."

So the story began, explaining that the British had created many laws and taxes the colonists felt were unfair.  As they said in this song:

We are in charge!
We make the best decisions.
We just want your provisions.
So bite your tongue and drink some tea for...
We are in charge!

The colonialists were angry, but confused about what to do.  Fighting a giant empire with many ships, soldiers, and weapons is not the easiest thing to do.  Luckily Henry Knox (right) came up with a daring plan and George Washington (left) was smart and daring enough to agree to put it into place.

The Americans had just taken Fort Ticonderoga away from the British.  There were 50 cannons at the fort.  They were 300 miles away, but if the colonialists could bring those cannons to Boston, they would have a chance.



Walking 300 miles to Fort Ticonderoga was bad enough, dragging 119,000 pounds of cannons across snow and mountains, Lake George, and the Hudson River was a very, very, very hard job.

Finally, one night, they snuck all the cannons up to the top of Dorchester Heights.

The next morning, the British saw the colonists ready for battle.  British cannons couldn't shoot uphill, but the colonists' cannons were aimed, ready, and able to fight. The British understand their predicament and left Boston.  A victory with no blood.

Yes, the British left Boston and they weren't happy about it.  In our school play, they were happy to come back for the grand finale, a song called "One Clever Idea."

One clever idea--can change the course of history!
One clever idea--and a lot of hard work set us free.

First you have a dream.
Then you make it come true.
Join together with thousands of hands.
It can happen to YOU! 

Dreams come in all sizes.  Many teachers and adult volunteers came together to write this play, compose and practice its songs, gather costumes, lead rehearsals.  Many kids tried out to be part of the cast, came after school for rehearsals (even during vacation!), struggled to memorize lines, fought nervousness to perform on stage.  

It can happen to YOU!