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The morphology of a musical

Academies students create their own original, multi-dimensional production

Broadway lyricist and author Dan Elish visited The Albany Academies to work with students. Students worked together writing song lyrics, screenplays and scripts, while dance students crafted the Narcissus and Echo Ballet, set to an original score.

Broadway lyricist and author Dan Elish visited The Albany Academies to work with students. Students worked together writing song lyrics, screenplays and scripts, while dance students crafted the Narcissus and Echo Ballet, set to an original score. Submitted Photo

— The Albany Academies’ spring musical is truly like no other. Made by the students for the greater community, every last note, lyric, dance move, photograph, video shot and monologue is original.

“We started storyboarding this creative collaboration about a year ago,” said Matt DiSanto-Rose, a senior. “We wanted something that hadn’t been done before in other schools and here we just thought that the opportunities that the students have would fit with what we were trying to get through both the visual and the audio arts.”

The play is called “Meditations on Metamorphosis,” and it draws on elements of the works of Franz Kafka and Ovid to follow a theme more relatable than waking up one day as a giant cockroach, as Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” goes.

“(A student) came up with the idea to use Kafka. … His take on it was that adolescence is a metamorphosis and the change and loss of childhood and all that,” said Greg Cummings, chairman of the theater department.

On March 2 and 3 in the Caird Chapel, the community can see what that very first idea has become: an interdisciplinary mix of music, short film, photography, ballet and theater carefully created and performed by students in grades ninth through 12th from both the Albany Academy for Girls and The Albany Academy.

“I think it’s really good we have both schools involved and we have a lot of people involved. We have a bunch of different ideas but coming together I think we’re making a really good show out of it,” said DiSanto-Rose.

The production includes a short film by 11th-grader Alex Hass. On Friday, Feb. 24, he was still putting the finishing touches on it.

“It’s relating the Kafka idea of metamorphosis with modern life and how that relates to relationships and society,” said Hass.

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