The Branchman

Branchman, a student written and directed play, will take place on Thursday, September 21st; Friday, September 22nd; and Sunday, September 24th. There will be a preview party for Thursday night’s show starting at 6:00 p.m. with light refreshments and a Meet & Greet with the cast. There will also be a chance to win a special t-shirt. Show time is at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for non-USJ students and seniors and are available for purchase at the Upper School front desk or by emailing Erica Davidson at edavidson@usjbruins.org.

Snow White in the 70's

This funky adaptation of Disney's Snow White will have you grooving to the music. Snow White, an orphaned, child prodigy, realizes that she has a long lost great-great-great-uncle. Unfortunately after meeting him, he dies which leaves her with her wicked stepmother, Lola. Not wanting to lose her husband's fortune, Lola, tries to get rid of Snow White, but she ends up in the basement of the discotheque where the seven swanky dwarves are cursed to run the music for the discotheque above.

Bring your family to this comedic play that will have you dancing in your seat. The show is great for children, and adults, of all ages!

Partnering With Aspell Recovery Center

Once again, the community has seen the talents of the students at the University School of Jackson. Two years ago, WRAP teamed up with Erica Davidson, US theatre teacher, and four USJ students to write a play about domestic violence in attempts to educate the community on signs to recognize abuse and how to help the victims.

Now, they are teaming up with Aspell Recovery Center in hopes to break the stigma of drug addiction. Ms. Davidson has been guiding three upper school students--Harrison Hamm, Sydney Lofton and Lauren Nicola--in writing a heart-wrenching play about those who drug addiction really affects and the consequences behind the disease.

The play, entitled "Wake Up," will be performed on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24 at 7 p.m., with a Sunday matinee on September 25 at 2 p.m. The cost of admission is $10 for adults and $7 for seniors and students. All proceeds will benefit Aspell Recovery Center.

"It was such an honor to be asked the first time to make such a contribution to our community. I was a little overwhelmed when we were asked the second time," said Davidson. "I knew with such talented students that we could, not only write a compelling script, but have the students to bring that script to life." Please join us in the Blankenship Theater the weekend of September 23 - 25 for the original production of "Wake Up." Please note this play is not suitable for children.

List of Shows:

  • Steel Magnolias (Spring 2016)
  • A Christmas Story (Fall 2015)
  • A Ripple in the Pond (Fall 2014)
  • Cheaters (Spring 2014)

Snow White in the 70's

Keep a lookout for Snow White in the 70’s. Yes, you heard correct! Snow White in the 70’s is a comedy with a fun disco twist that will have you laughing and grooving at the same time. Listen throughout the play for some of your favorite funkadelic 70’s music.

"Snow White hasn’t had it easy. She was orphaned at an early age, adopted by a group of Tibetan monks, and started college when she was only twelve years old. Now, at seventeen, she has her PhD. and has recently discovered a wealthy great-great-great-uncle, the railroad tycoon Douglas Digger. Unfortunately, soon after she meets her only living relative, he dies in a freak disco-dancing accident, leaving her his many assets - including the disco he died in. This doesn’t make Douglas’ trophy wife very happy - and Lola Golda-Digger doesn’t just get angry, she gets even.

When Lola’s murder attempt on Show White goes awry, Snow White ends up in the basement of her disco with the seven Disco Dwarves - Funky, Loopy, Libby, Gimmee, Grubby, Jimmy, and Nixon. Bound to the disco by a curse, the Disco Dwarves spend their lives providing the disco’s music. They hail Snow White as the chosen one, come to deliver them from their labors, and swear to help her in any way they can. Will Snow White fulfill her promise as the chosen one, or will Lola manage to murder her step-great-great-great-niece and take the disco as her own?” (Heuer Publishing)

This play will be open to middle and upper school students, and has seventeen speaking roles, and plenty of extras. Auditions for the show will be October 25 & 26 at 3:05 p.m. in the Blankenship Theater. Performance dates and times are January 13-14 at 7 p.m. and January 15 at 2 p.m. Cost of admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and non-USJ students. All USJ students and faculty get in free.

Steel Magnolias

The drama department’s spring production of Steel Magnolias was a hit. The show ran from April 8-10 and performed for great crowds.

"I was so proud of how my students performed in this classic show,” said theatre teacher and director Erica Davidson. "People don't realize how many lines these girls had to memorize. They began working on this show in late January. The final performance on Sunday was bittersweet. We will definitely miss each other and the fun we had on and offstage."

A Christmas Story

Who doesn't love the classic Christmas movie (that's set on repeat during the holidays), A Christmas Story? The theater department will be putting on this Christmas hit on December 4 & 5 at 7 p.m. in the Blankenship Theater. Tickets are at the upper school front desk if you would like to purchase them in advance, or you may purchase them at the door.

Click Here to view the Cast List

Meet the Cast

A Ripple in the Pond: Student-written play explores the effects of family violence

December 2014

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USJ students wrote and acted in a play about a family in an abusive home. The play was written in collaboration with the Wo/Men’s Resource and Rape Assistance Program (WRAP), and all proceeds from ticket sales and donations went to WRAP.

A Ripple in the Pond follows the actions of children who witness their father physically abusing their mother. The sixth-grade son begins to hit other students and to disrespect his teacher, and the daughter, who is a senior, remains in an mentally abusive relationship with her boyfriend.

“This play was different because we did monologues for each character, from the teacher to the abusive husband,” Upper School Theater Teacher Erica Davidson said. “They gave us a peek into their motives and feelings.”

Then the students replayed the same scenes with certain characters reacting differently — from taking a stand to helping a victim with the right words. “The ending is much different this time around than the first,” Davidson said.

The play, directed by Davidson, starred Molly Maroney and Seth Weiss as the parents. Other cast members were Sydney Phelan, Ethan Schlegel, Sydney Kwasigroh, Aaron Evans, Parker Lewis, Lauren Hailey, Alexander Peftoulidis, Meg Howell, Gehrig Rabon, and Sydney Lofton.

Kayla Bircher and Clara Mariencheck were stage managers, Hannah Adams did makeup, and Aditya Thota led the tech crew. Playwrights included Davidson and students Amanda Holloway, Madison Perchik, Clare Robertson, Rebekah Sears, and Adam Sills.

Daryl Chansuthus, Executive Director of WRAP, said, “A Ripple in the Pond illustrates the damage of an abusive relationship and how it impacts an entire household.  It also illustrates how family members can change the pattern of abuse and end the spread of violence before it trickles beyond the home and into the community.”

She thanked Davidson and her students for exploring the subject of family violence in an original play. “WRAP appreciates their creativity and support. We are fortunate to have this talented group of students working with WRAP to share this important information with the community.”