First Graders Present “Wax Museum”
First grade thespians delivered a singular performance last Tuesday for a packed room full of family and staff. Visitors to the “Wax Museum” found themselves amid a forest of living statues, each dressed as an influential leader. As guests meandered among the performers, the American heroes began to tell their stories, breaking their pose to recite a personal narrative of their lives and accomplishments before returning to their static pantomime. Amid the quiet cacophony of this avant-garde performance art, one could hear the past, present, and future of democracy unfolding.
For several weeks, the 1st grade class has been studying the qualities of leadership and investigating the lives and contributions of historical and contemporary leaders in many fields. After conducting field work at the polls on Election Day, interviewing Head of School Diana Lam, and reading stories about many leaders, students selected the personae they would portray. Each student memorized their narrative and practiced speaking it in a clear presentation voice with the poise and confidence appropriate to their character.
Book-ended by musical performances, the Wax Museum began with a haunting a capella rendition of “Some Nights” by the band fun., whose lyrics explore the intrinsic aspects of leadership with the question, “What Do I Stand for?” The experience concluded with two rousing verses of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” Standing together, a chorus of Sonja Sotomayors, Helen Kellers, Martain Luther King Jr.s, and Barak Obamas sang with wisdom and urgency about a nation “beautiful, for patriot dreams that see beyond the years.”