Holland Hall to present original musical
BY NOUR HABIB World Scene Writer
Thursday, January 17, 2013
1/17/13 at 6:58 AM
A middle school teacher has created an original musical set in 1926 downtown Tulsa.
Sally Adams, a drama teacher at Holland Hall, wrote the musical this summer after being inspired by a segment of her school's middle school humanities curriculum that focused on downtown Tulsa.
"Tulsa during the 1920s was an enormously wealthy city," Adams said. "To me, it's a very exciting part of our history that we don't spend time thinking about because we're not that city anymore."
After accompanying a seventh-grade class last year on a trip downtown, including a stop at the historic Mayo Hotel, Adams began thinking of how kids would view the area.
Out of that was born "Radio Kids," a musical that follows two girls who moved to Tulsa from an Iowa farm, with their father working in the oil fields in a nearby town. The girls discover the city while staying with their aunt, who works as a telephone operator at the Mayo. The musical mixes public domain music - with the lyrics changed to fit the story - along with original music.
The students will present the show at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Holland Hall's Walter Arts Center, 5666 E. 81st St. The performances are open to the public, and tickets are $7 at the door.
Adams said this is the first year her class will present an original play.
"I really wanted it to be a tool for the kids to be able to immerse themselves in the period," she said.
The humanities curriculum for Holland Hall seventh-graders integrates the study of downtown into many of the students' classes, Adams said. This musical allowed her to include it in her drama class, as well.
"For me, a big reason for doing this is, I'm a huge fan of integrating our curricula," she said. "Because I think, for the students to not have to compartmentalize their learning, and see the connection among the various areas of study, really gets them into whatever they're learning in a big way."
Adams, who has been a teacher on-and-off for about 25 years, said being able to create an original work for her class has also made her feel more engaged and energized as a teacher. "Original work, it keeps you on your toes," she said.
This segment of the school's curriculum was also particularly inspiring to Adams because she feels that it is important for kids to know the history of their city.
"To feel a sense of belonging and to know where you live, it really does give meaning to place."
When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Holland Hall's Walter Arts Center, 5666 E. 81st Street
Nour Habib 918-581-8369
Holland Hall middle school students Nathan Washecheck (left), Erin May, Erin Hyde and Hannah Whitaker play the lead roles in "Radio Kids" at Holland Hall. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World