The junior hall decorations took judges and spectators back in time through the years 1942 to 1966, a period of time occupied by World War II, Civil Rights protests, and even the Beatles. The junior class wonderfully captured the essence of these events in American history, as well as many more in their set-up and performances.
The class decided to take their audience through their time period backwards with junior Taylor Lewis narrating all the action. The first event reenacted was the sweeping sensation throughout America of the English rock band the Beatles during the 1960s. A massive handmade poster with spitting images of the band members faces and signature hair, combined with a stage littered with streamers and lights set the scene for a live concert. Impersonating the legendary rock band in turtlenecks, juniors Simon Brown, Jesse Dammann, Vaughn Martin, and Max Friedenwald-Fishman performed a live rendition of the hit song “Can’t Buy Me Love.”
Next, the hall recreated the setting and atmosphere of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” given in Washington D.C. Junior Terrell Cunningham delivered a convincing performance in his role as the historic Civil Rights activist using his speech and debate experience to his advantage. Protesters, signs, and a painted backdrop of the Lincoln Memorial plugged the audience into the scene even more.
Following MLK was the scene of Marilyn Monroe, played by Nico Hellman, singing happy birthday to President John F. Kennedy, played by Tanner Montagriff-Peck. A few moments later, the audience jumped at the sound of an ear-splitting bang, signifying the death of the young president.
After JFK’s death, the audience was taken back to a more triumphant note with the reenactment of the space race, which included a homemade rocket ship gliding through the sky and Harper Lee rocking a shiny astronaut suit. Junior Jaden Berger echoed the famous words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” to close the scene.
A junkyard, filled with graffiti, actual car parts, and various debris transformed the next part of the hall into the world of the 1950s teenage Greasers. Junior Sundancers, sporting leather jackets, performed a dance piece of their own choreography to an old-timey song to wow the spectators.
Lastly, the class ended the show on a happy note with the celebration of the end of World War II. Junior Riley Buerk, dressed as a newsie, alerted the audience of the war’s end with a loud announcement and a front cover of the Clarion newspaper headlined, “The War is Over.” A full-on party scene set in Times Square erupted as juniors dressed in 1940s attire flooded the square throwing confetti and dancing. Decked out in full costumes, juniors Conor Bergin and Tori Tefft finished off the scene, and with that the entire performance, by recreating the famous photo of the sailor kissing the nurse during Times Square celebration.
The junior class took its audience back in time with clever use of paper–the Beatles poster was absolutely amazing–, live props, and lights, but what really sold the show was the impressive performances delivered by the students. The originality and talent showed off by the impersonation of the Beatles and the dance routine of the Greasers certainly made this hall dec one to remember.
“We all came together as a class to make something we were really proud of this year,” said junior Carlin MacMillan. “All of the decorations turned out really well and the creative performances brought it all together.” The class definitely brought some firepower to the competition this year.