The 2012 Oliver Ames High School Spring Musical

OA Students Performing At Their Best. And Learning From, and Getting Past, "The Chants"


I needed to do a follow up of my column which posted on Monday – you know, the one in which I leveled and dumped a hefty dose of negative criticism on certain students for their rude chants during the OA-Stoughton boys’ high school state tournament game at Brockton High School on Tuesday night, March 6.

If you missed the column, .

In the comments section following the column, “cjh” posted –

Unfortunately, there were many students from OA at the game who were respectful, who were there to cheer on their team in a respectful and appropriate way. They should not be grouped with the smaller number who made a choice to be disrespectful, rude, and completely inappropriate.

cjh is correct – spot on.  While I did specify in my column that only “some” of the OA students were engaged in the chants, I should have emphasized and highlighted that there were other OA students who were conducting themselves respectfully and appropriately. 

And this is my lead in to saying that across the board OA students are among the best anywhere.   They are spirited, considerate, empathetic, generous, and thoughtful. 

Even the kids responsible for the chants at the game are, I’m thinking, mostly good kids who are now cringing and remorseful for their conduct.  I hope this is the case. 

(It is also my hope that the kids responsible for the chants are mature enough – or will soon be mature enough – so they don't wallow in bitterness because of the criticism directed at them, and choose to cop more of an attitude.  The mature and wise response to the criticism should be this perspective:  “Yep, I messed up.  I choose not to mess up again.  Indeed, maybe I can set an example of tolerance and understanding.”)

I could go on and on and put up example after example, and for consideration, OA sports teams and clubs and extracurricular groups that show the best of American young people. 

As for an exemplar of OA students operating at their best, I submit to you the 90 students who are today finishing up preparations for the OA Spring Musical which runs this weekend.  

That’s right, there are 90 students– 58 in the cast, 33 in the orchestra, and 10 in the crew – who are responsible for dramatic excellence. 

This year’s OA Spring Musical is Thoroughly Modern Millie; it is directed by the standout and all-star OA Director of Music, Charlene Dalrymple, and her standout and all-star staff.   This will be the 30th musical production that Dalyrmple has directed at OA.

There are three performances, all at the majestic OAHS auditorium:  Friday night at 7:30; Saturday night at 7:30; and Tuesday afternoon at 2. 

Count on this – the show is going to be a HIT!! 

In the March 5 OAHS newsletter, News and Views, OA Principal Wes Paul provided this background, and gave this call out and trumpeting of the 2012 OA Spring Musical:

Please mark your calendar’s with a must see for one of the shows this weekend of the OAHS Spring Musical Production of Thoroughly Modern Millie.  Charlene does a masterful job in directing this annual extravaganza.  Based on the 1967 film of the same name, Thoroughly Modern Millie tells the story of a small-town girl, Millie Dillmount, who comes to New York City to marry for money instead of love – a thoroughly modern aim in 1922, when women were just entering the workforce. Millie soon begins to take delight in the flapper lifestyle, but problems arise when she checks into a hotel owned by the leader of a slavery ring in China. The style of the musical is comic pastiche.  The entire experience of seeing an OA musical is not to be missed.  Everything about it is professional quality and the kids will simply blow you away.  The parents who volunteer to design and build the set did an amazing job once again and if you consider the cost of a Broadway ticket being at $100 or more, this is a great value and opens the opportunity to witness live musical theater to many who can’t afford the Broadway shows.  I will offer you a money back  guarantee that you will be thoroughly entertained and beaming with pride at what our kids produced. 

“I have wanted to do this show for a long time because of the music and the storyline,” said Dalrymple.  “I was waiting for the right combination of students – and this year that combination came into place.  This was the year to do it.”

Dalrymple explained that the auditions for the play are held on three afternoons in December, from 2:30 to 5. 

When the cast and the orchestra and the crew are all set, then the real hard work begins – afternoon after afternoon, hour after hour. 

From January through March, OA staff and parents and the performers – that is, the players, the competitors – each of them devote hundreds upon hundreds of hours to excellence and getting things not almost right, not quite right, but absolutely right. 

Practice is after school and  on Sundays and during February Vacation.  By the way, during February Vacation, from the Friday when school lets out to the following Sunday, the practice schedule – save for three days off the kids are permitted – runs from 10 am to 5 pm, or 12:30 to 4:30 pm. 

Over the final week, afterschool practice runs from 2:30 to 8 or 9. 

“The greatest thing about all of this is that it is a total team effort,” said Dalyrmple.  “Everyone must work together, from the students to the parent volunteers, and the musical staff – the choreographer, set designer, lighting, stage manager, and dedicated crew members.  And, by the way, my husband was a valuable part of the team; his support was so important; he worked on set building this year so that during the musical season he could see me.”

Dalrymple added, “Nothing would be accomplished without every one of these people, all working together as a team.  They make the fantasy of the show happen.”

That’s for sure.

OA kids performing at their best? 

You can catch them doing just that – this weekend, at OA.  


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