|This Carousel mural features a multicolor carnival scene.|
Putting It Together
How art displays enhance musical performances.
A shorter version of this article is published in the October 2019 SchoolArts Magazine.
Many schools regularly stage musicals. Their staging invites creative art projects that can complement musicals’ themes and songs. For several years, I coordinated art projects and curriculum initiatives tied to eight high school musicals in the form of lobby displays, cafeteria displays, and projects. Linda D’Acquisto describes how students can tap into their creativity by producing museum displays. What she describes is similar to the musical-inspired displays we created in our school lobbies and cafeteria.
The first part of this article’s title was inspired by Stephen Sondheim’s song “Putting It Together” from his musical Sunday in the Park with George. The song’s lyrics describing how the “art of making art is putting it together,” serve as inspiration for us each year.
|A porch in River City, Iowa, for our production of The Music Man|
For The Music Man, we did projects tied to the Edwardian period including a mural of a typical house.
Sailors running to the ship for Anything Goes.
Anything Goes highlighted a cruise ship mural with portholes containing photos of key cast members. The front lobby board featured two sailor silhouettes running to the ship. Our display case featured nautical items including an authentic ship wheel.
I dedicate this article to the memory of my high school art teacher Richard Alan Lupo.
Keith Mason, Ph.D. teaches Italian at New Providence High School in New Providence, New Jersey. Dr. Mason received eight Rising Star Awards for Impact from the Paper Mill Playhouse for integrating his school’s musicals into the high school curriculum. He has authored many articles about using musicals in the interdisciplinary curriculum.
D’Acquisto. Linda. 2006. Learning on display: Student-created museums that build understanding. Alexandria: ASCD.