Tyson Colt, Marichelle Matic and Carolyn Perlstein’s fourth grade classes at Edison Elementary presented It’s Electrifying, a musical production about electricity, on Friday, January 31. The 95 fourth-graders and their teachers practiced for the past six weeks and enlisted the help of music teacher Robyn Kreisberg, a number of parent volunteers and some fifth-graders to put on the show.
Each year since 2006, Edison’s fourth grade class presents a musical highlighting an aspect of the fourth grade curriculum. They have had shows on the Gold Rush, California Missions, geology and math. This year, the students and teachers focused on electricity.
“The audience is led through the history of electricity, from the discovery of sparks by rubbing amber to modern inventions like the telephone and radio,” explained Matic. “Each class performs their own class number, and the entire fourth grade sings three all-class numbers. Songs include ‘Find a Conductor and Run,’ ‘Alessandro Volta’ and ‘ElectroMagnet Man.'”
“I enjoyed hearing [the audience] laughing. Just by hearing laughter made me smile,” said Nikole Munoz.
“I enjoyed the music and singing the funny song ‘Alessandro Volta.’ I enjoyed having a nice audience,” added Sunny Willis.
Kreisberg taught the music and songs for the musical, written by Ron Fink and John Heath and published by Bad Wolf Press. Students auditioned for speaking roles about four weeks prior to curtain and the whole musical was rehearsed for about two weeks ahead of the show date. Parent volunteers created props and dressed the sets. A few fifth graders got to be part of the stage crew.
“These musicals are a great experience for our fourth grades. They learn content curriculum within the context of performing arts,” said Matic. “It is a true team effort which leads to a wonderful memory of fourth grade. Very rewarding for all!”
“What I enjoyed about the musical is the mustaches because it shows how smart Allesandro Volta was,” commented Tim Youn. “I enjoyed ‘Find a Conductor and Run’ because the glowing jump ropes were awesome!”
“I enjoyed performing my [speaking] part while making people laugh. It was fun just performing it all. I loved it,” added Eliza Lantz.