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Dance, Theatre, and Music Perform This Spring

The Spring Dance Concert, which will take place this weekend (Saturday, May 13, 7:30 p.m.) in the Simon Theatre, will conclude a spring of arts performances showcasing the talents of the Mercersburg Academy music, theatre, and dance programs.

With 30 students participating, the dance concert will feature a multitude of genres including Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theater, Hip-Hop and Bollywood. All are welcome to attend.

“This spring term has flown by!” says Kelsy Rupp, Mercersburg’s director of dance. “We have been in the studios rehearsing faculty, guest artist, and student pieces for the concert nonstop since we returned from spring vacation. The concert is chock full of variety and shows off the diverse talents among our students and faculty alike.There is something enjoyable for all audience members in this show, and I am so excited for the students to present their work in a few short days.”

Choreographing the concert is a collective effort by Rupp, adjunct instructors who work with the students on a weekly basis, guest artists who have visited campus this spring term, and even students themselves. Student choreographers include Catherine Orders ’23, Kalwa Tembo ’23, Olivia Short ’23, Mikahel Martinez-Arocho ’25, and Coco Zhai ’24. Adjunct instructors include Hans Nelson (Classical Ballet), Nicole Ruark (Musical Theater Dance and Tap), Emma Maurer ’18 (Ballet and Contemporary), and Michael Reyes (Hip-Hop). Guests include Olivia Ratliff (Contemporary Ballet), Jess Beach (Commercial Jazz), Anu Marwah Shah (Bollywood), and Denise Dalton, former director of dance at Mercersburg (Modern/Contemporary).

The Importance of Being Earnest

Students rehearse. (Photo by Zoe Shykind ’24)

Earlier this May, Mercersburg’s Stony Batter Players (the school’s student theatre company) took the stage to present an abridged version of “The Importance of Being Earnest”  in the Boys’ Garden. This version ran approximately 75-80 minutes without an intermission. 

“Though filled with commentary on Victorian era society, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ is essentially a cross between a classical ‘Comedy of Manners’ and a modern ‘rom-com,’” says Matt Maurer, arts faculty member and director of the show. 

Syd Watts ’25 served as the stage manager, and the cast included:

  • William Tutt ’25 (ALGERNON MONCRIEFF)
  • Shanuka Navaratne ’25 (LANE/MERRIMAN)
  • Ryan Casey ’23 (JOHN WORTHING)
  • Dorothy Skuba Gray ’23 (LADY BRACKNELL)
  • Keri-Ann Denis ’25 (GWENDOLYN FAIRFAX)
  • Janie Miller ’26 (CECILY CARDEW)
  • Barbara Gamboa ’26 (MISS PRISM)
  • Charlie Betkowski ’24 (REV. CHASUBLE)

Learn more about the show at this link.

This string of arts performances kicked off with the Spring Music Concert, which showcased the school’s Concert Band, Chorale, and String Ensemble, April 28 in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre.  

String Ensemble

String Ensemble (photo by Sean Quin ’25)

Performance pieces by the Concert Band (under the direction of Bryan Morgan ’07) included “Among the Stars” (Lisa Galvin); selections from “Wicked” (Stephen Schwartz, Arr. Jay Bocook); and “Catch Me If You Can” (John Williams, Arr. Jay Bocook), among others.

The Chorale (under the direction of Morgan and Jim Brinson) performed such selections as “The Dance of Life” (Linda Spevacek); “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder, Arr. by Paul Langford); and “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” (Traditional Spiritual, Arr. by Lloyd Larson).

The String Ensemble (directed by Michael Cameron) performed such selections as “Serge Prokofiev: Sonata for Solo Violin, 2nd Movement;” “Kirt Moiser: Waltz of the Wicked;” and “Furler/Moore: Try Everything” (from the motion picture “Zootopia”).

Learn more about Mercersburg’s arts program and upcoming events on this page of the school’s website.