Musical Theater at the American School
by Renee Perez – PVNN
Since 1990, the students at The American School of Puerto Vallarta have been entertaining Puerto Vallarta audiences with quality musical theater. For this year’s Spring Musical, they will be performing “Oliver” from March 5th-7th at 7:30 pm.
From the very beginning, the American School’s theater and music program has been a very important part of the curriculum. A tradition which spans over 19 years, and this school continues to provide the community with quality musical theater that consistently improves year after year.
In the old days, 1990 to be exact, our first Spring Musical was presented at the Hotel Krystal. Having no theater of our own, we relied purely on the generosity of the major hotels to provide us with a room, chairs, and if we were lucky, a stage. The minimal sets were built on campus, and there were only one or two days in which to rehearse in the actual venue. The first American School production was Guys and Dolls, and for a neophyte theater program, with only Spanish speaking students, it was a huge accomplishment.
You see, there was no other English theater in Puerto Vallarta at the time. The teachers who had the vision and courage to put together an American musical in a foreign country with no previous experience, created a foundation for an annual musical production, complete with live music, sets, costumes, lights and sound. After approximately five years, our theater program had raised enough money to build our own outdoor theater on campus, an achievement which is still highly prized today.
Over the years, our school has performed Guys and Dolls, High Tops, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grease, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, Anything Goes, Bye Bye Birdie, Cinderella, Damn Yankees, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, The Fantastics and Four Guys Named Jose.
Coming full circle, this year we again present Oliver, which was the first production we presented in our amphitheater many years ago. Quite an extraordinary list for a little school in a beach town in Mexico. But these are extraordinary kids.
Melissa O’Neil is Assistant Choreographer and Elizabeth Mason is the Music Director.
This Musical will be playing from March 5th-7th, 2009 at the American School Amphitheater, located in Marina Vallarta. Admission is $100 pesos. Showtime is at 7:30 pm.
For more information contact Elena Garza at mailto:egarza(at)aspv.edu.mx