Mixed Musical

Students collaborate to put on “The Tempest”


Photo: Loobna Shego

Senior Kedzie Moe performs as Queen Prospera in the Tempest.

For the first time in more than half a decade, this year’s musical cast includes a combination of both Middle and Upper School students.

Together, they performed the musical adaptation of “The Tempest” by Todd Almond. 

Fine arts teachers Meleesa Wyatt and Paul Fleming were the directors of the musical. They decided to do “The Tempest” to fit the needs of their students. 

With this year’s schedule changes, there would be no time to direct two separate play productions. The directors decided to do one musical with both the Middle and Upper School because of schedule conflicts, according to Fleming. There have been challenges caused by combining the Middle and Upper School because of their differences in age, maturity and stamina.

“It’s definitely a lot more chaotic,” said freshman and cast member Alice Kauffman.

Over time, the Middle and Upper School students have learned how to work together and be productive.

“I feel like we’ve gotten to a place now where we’ve been able to work through those problems and figure out how to work together effectively,” Wyatt said.

Kauffman recognized that there are benefits in working with the Middle School.

“It is nice to not be on the bottom of the food chain in my freshman year,” Kauffman said.

Wyatt believes teamwork is important in making a good musical.

“You can’t have a division. The whole group has to be [one] group,” Wyatt said.

Combining the Middle and Upper School play production is new to everyone in the cast.

“At first, it was a little bit difficult with the whole relationship between the Middle School and High School, but it turned out to be perfectly fine,” seventh grader Bella Stephens said.

Stephens has been doing musicals for five years, but this was her first musical with UPrep. She has enjoyed working with the Upper School students and the friends she has made.

“There’s definitely still some tension between Middle School and Upper School because of the age difference,” Stephens said. “I think after awhile you kind of get comfortable with each other and you become friends with people you never thought you would actually meet.”

Wyatt is excited to watch as these friendships grow.

“It’s really fun to watch … people form friendships and watching students help each other,” Wyatt said.

Loobna Shego
Middle and Upper School students perform “The Tempest” during a dress rehearsal. Senior Kedzie Moe (top) and seventh grader Tyson Scott (bottom) are the leads in the musical. The cast contains a variety of grades.