Students at Michelle Obama School in Park Forest Produce their very own Holiday Musical (University Park, IL) — A group of about 200 students from Michelle Obama School of Technology and the Arts performed their very own musical to an audience of friends, parents, community members, school district board members, and school staff at Governor’s State University on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. The students proudly helped write the play, The Patriot Express: The Next Generation, which is based loosely on the Christmas classic, The Polar Express. The performance was held at Governor’s State University’s Center for Performing Arts. It is the first of two productions put on by students this academic year.
According to students and district staff, the musical was completely designed by students with help from the staff. “Everything part of the musical, from set design, costumes, script, musical selections, and more, were the product of hard work and dedication of the students and staff at Michelle Obama School,” said Dr. Erika Johnson, the district’s Director of Instructional Services. “We have had to figure out how to do this while social-distancing and wearing masks, and I think they did a great job.”
The heartwarming plot followed young Emmanuel and his sister Winter, who recently lost their father. Emmanuel, gifted with his family’s Christmas bell, was troubled and no longer believed in the spirit of the holiday. As a result, he couldn’t hear the bell’s toll. He embarked on a Christmas journey of music and dance when a train whisked him and Winter off to the North Pole, where he regained his faith in the holiday and excitedly heard the bell’s toll.
“It’s always a pleasure to watch young people express themselves,” said Walter Mosby III, the President of the Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163 Board. “It’s all student-led and student-driven. That’s one of the great things about this school. We give our students the opportunity to express themselves and to grow, and to learn. It’s a wonderful opportunity.”
Students at Michelle Obama School in Park Forest Produce their very own Holiday Musical