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Woodland Takes on Broadway

On April 20th, Marissa Iezzi and Thomas Simonetti hosted a one-day New York City trip to watch a Broadway show. This trip was open to students that participated in music or theater-related classes. 

Iezzi, band and choir teacher, organized the trip because she felt that it was important that students involved in the arts see a musical. Chaperones were also able to visit the city with the students.

Prior to going on the trip, Simonetti gave the students a run-down of all the vital NYC information, like information on important buildings and statues. 

He was knowledgeable of the area students drove through while on the bus.

Before the play, students and teachers were able to walk around the city and explore. Students were able to have the liberty of walking on their own, while Iezzi walked three miles and took a visit to Central Park. She visited an underground market and the Museum of Modern Art with Simonetti. Simonetti brought chaperones to a local coffee shop called Khave and went shopping at some of his favorite shops.

“It was pretty cool that we could go wherever we wanted,” said Ayden Wilson, a chorus student, who went on the NYC trip.“ It gave us some free time.”

After being able to walk around for about two hours, students and teachers met for lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp. After lunch, the group left for the show.

Not only did Iezzi know the city experience would have an impact on students, but she also chose the Lion King for the mind-blowing experience. Since this is the first field trip that the music and theater students have been on in years, Iezzi wanted the experience to be special. 

She wanted to provide an opportunity for students to see a musical performance, whether it be a concert or a musical. 

“It was so moving to see the live performance at a young age that inspired me to give students that opportunity,” said Iezzi. “I think that all musicians should see live professional music at some point.” 

Simonetti is very experienced on the subject of musicals. Simonetti and the members of the theater department are doing a full production of the show “Emma! A Pop Musical.” Simonetti thought that it would be good for the students to watch professional actors.

The theater students were able to participate in the trip because Iezzi decided to combine theater and music classes to go on one collaborative trip. 

“I could collaborate with music and theater and invite a large group. Things that happen in person or in real-time are special because you can’t erase them or go back in time,” said Iezzi. “It will be different every performance and I feel like that is special and it’s part of what makes us human to have those feelings and reactions.”

Students enjoyed the character of Scar and the hyenas, along with the jazz performance. Many expressed that if they could they would go back in time and experience the show again.

“The show was amazing, they used a lot of stage work and tools,” says Wilson. “They made it look like what it was when I first saw it on Broadway.”

Simonetti and Iezzi both enjoyed watching students experience the show and the city.

“I love watching young people experiencing New York, because I loved [New York City] at the time and I lived there – A job I had for years was doing school tours. It was always fun to see fresh eyes seeing New York.”

There has been talk of doing a trip like this again. 

“I would like to do a trip like this again because I like to see shows on Broadway,” said Wilson. “You can learn from them.”

From the show to the city students and teacher had a great experience. Iezzi and Simonetti look forward to doing a trip like this again.

Julia Dommel

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