Roosevelt Elementary School staged its annual Variety Show earlier in March, drawing on the talents of students from Kindergarten through grade five, teachers, staff and Principal Dr. Jennifer Meglemre. Directed by Darryl Johnson, Roosevelt At The Movies took audiences through popular songs from Curly Top, Casablanca and My Fair Lady to The Lego Movie, Frozen, Tangled and more.
The 2015 Roosevelt Variety Show was Johnson’s eighth consecutive production at the Burbank Unified elementary school, supported by the Roosevelt PTA. Each year, he directs a themed show drawing on the vocal, dance, musical and comedic talents of the school’s children.
“With each passing year, our passion for working with kids only grows, and it is a true thrill to watch as these young people begin to discover talents and desires that are only just starting to take root,” commented Johnson. “It would be easy to assume that this sort of extravaganza exists at most schools. But, it is a very rare gem indeed – especially in an era when the arts continue to take a back seat to other priorities.”
“It’s true to say a lot of time is spent putting this show together every year, but the end result is always worth it,” said producer Lucy Green. “After months of rehearsals and vocal coaching, every single one of these kids gets out there and gives it their all; they put on a great performance for their audience.”
“However, the best part for me is being backstage with all the nervous excitement and seeing the kids help, encourage and praise one another. We have a lot of fun!”
“This year was my fourth variety show,” commented fifth-grader Isabella Rosoff. “These four years have taught me to be confident in myself and to feel more comfortable on stage. I love performing and especially love to watch my friends on stage. They are all so talented.”
“For me the variety show is all about Isabella having fun and feeling self-confident. It’s time consuming but so worth it,” added parent Linda Rosoff. “My favorite part of these past years of variety shows has been to watch the growth and discipline of these kids. It’s an amazing experience for the kids and parents and it truly takes a village to put together this show.”
“We consistently have to remind ourselves that it’s just an elementary school variety show. But, honestly it’s so much more,” commented associate producer Shelley Bates. “These kids push themselves for months to perform. It’s not an easy task. They overcome fear, memorize choreography, make music and create memories that will last a lifetime.”
“From a production standpoint, we are merely there to assist. We may provide the framework but it’s the children who do all the work,” she added. “Each and every child pours their heart into each performance. I couldn’t be more proud to be involved with such an amazing program.”
“What a pleasure it has been from year to year to watch parents working so hard with their kids to create pieces of art that they can be proud of together!” Johnson also said. “The level of dedication and pure fun is what this program is all about.”
Johnson also holds TheatriCamp, two summer musical theater workshops, in the Burbank area. For more information on the camp, interested people may send inquires to TheatriCamp@gmail.com.