Honors Theater Students Take a Bite of the Big Apple!

Written by Jay Freer, Director of Fine Arts
35 miles. That’s just how far the Honors Theater students and teachers walked while on their annual 4-day trip to New York City in February. Why travel all the way to New York? What makes trips like this worth missing three days of school? In her writings, Mrs. Lovett stressed how important it is to go to the place and experience it - allowing all of a student’s senses to be engaged and excited. 

To be sure, Atlanta in 2020 has incredible artists and has grown exponentially following the Civil War and also after losing a plane of Arts Patrons in Orly France in 1962. The Memorial Arts Center pays tribute to those who sought to foster growth in the Arts in Atlanta.  As a Department, we often engage Atlanta artists to come and interact with our students in the Fine Arts. However, there is nothing like being in a city where the Arts are front and center of the culture of the city, a major force in tourism and business, along with a vibrant and active community of artists. New York’s Theater presence began around 1750. The history of theater, and indeed all of the arts in New York, is unlike that of any other city in the United States. The trip is immersive, exciting, educational, and a unique feature of what makes a Lovett education so special.

Day 1 – 
West Side Story 
The Girl from the North Country – with an after-show meeting with cast members, Kimber Elayne Sprawl & John Schiappa

Day 2 – 
Walk through Central Park – stopping at the Delacorte Theater and other notable features of this amazing park design by Fredrick Law Olmstead and opened in 1858
Extended visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Rockefeller Center
Hades Town – backstage tour with the stage manager of the show onstage

Day 3 –
Dance Workshop with Dance Captain of Wicked – Cary Tedder
Visit Lower Manhattan and other neighborhoods in the Lower Manhattan area ending up in Soho
To Kill a Mocking Bird with Ed Harris as Atticus Finch – met him outside after the show

Day 4 – 
Subway down to walk on the Highline
Singing Workshop – songs as monologues - with David Brunetti 
Final Show – Say Something Bunny (Off Off Broadway) 

Throughout the trip, students walked much more than we rode subways. The food was a reflection of the diversity and history of New York – some stops include restaurants that have been in business since 1888! We visited the Lower East side where so many immigrants first start their lives in America. We rotate the experiences for each annual trip so that we don’t repeat itineraries. In past trips, we visit locations like The Players Club, a private social club for artists started by Edwin Booth, at Gramercy Park - http://www.theplayersnyc.org. The Tenement Museum - https://www.tenement.org The total experience of the trip leaves students with a much deeper understanding of the art of acting, a much deeper understanding of our American story and how that played out over the centuries in New York City and is still playing out today. Students come away with an understanding of the history of New York, and a deeper understanding of the culture of our country. This trip, which started at Lovett in 1992, is a unique experience and a part of theater education not offered anywhere else but Lovett. 

The arts are an entirely unique part of what makes a Lovett education so incredibly valuable. 
As you examine the choices for the education of your child, I hope you will look closely at how the arts is an essential part of a Lovett education. Mrs. Lovett called the arts one of the “magic sesames” for helping a young person to discover who they are and explore their full potential as a human being.

We know that long-term study in the arts is a life-changing part of education. 

We now have multiple scientific evidence that reflect the unique and positive effects on the brain of study in music.

We hear more and more that elite graduate colleges are asking Doctors to learn how to examine the nuance in art as a way to make them better at reading subtle signals from patients and to be better observers in their practice of medicine.

Whether it is a career in the arts, or a career in any business – the rigorous training in the arts that Lovett offers each student, influences and changes their lives.  Creative thinking is valued now in everything we do - problem solving, creation of ideas, marketing, being at ease with group working dynamics ….. all businesses need “creatives” to push beyond what is present immediately into the deeper and more fruitful layers of all we do. 

At Lovett we employ practicing professional artists who are incredibly dedicated teachers.  It is a difference here at Lovett, and countless alumni tell us that it often has been the difference maker in their adult lives.

Remember too that the arts generated approximately $764 billion nationally and $62 billion in total economic impact in the state of GA. 

On top of all of this, there is the fact that the arts make life better in and of themselves. Beauty nurtures the spirit. The Arts make life worth living and Lovett has always been committed to unleashing each student’s creativity and passion through educating the whole child.  

Watching our Lovett students perform and create art is the joy that parents, teachers, and the whole Lovett community get to experience.

I hope each of you will reach out to me with any questions you might have about the arts at Lovett and how it will influence your child’s life.
 

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