East Woods theater program flourishes due to Mia Price Notarnicola's leadership. Ms. Mia, as the students affectionately know her, studied at Point Park University and received her bachelor's degree in theater and dance. She has performed in two Broadway shows, four First National Tours, and was a Radio City Rockette for six years. Mia has also performed internationally in Europe and Japan and has now turned her focus to choreography and directing. She is currently the director of Broadway Bound, the East Woods drama program open to Kindergarten through Eighth Grade students that performs two major productions each year.
This year Broadway Bound will perform Lion King, Jr. and The Descendants under the direction of Mia and her assistants Ami Price-Coyle and Bianca Swanepoel. Bianca is originally from Cape Town, South Africa, and her first language is Afrikaans. This play is very special to Bianca because of the language, music, and dances. She has been integral in teaching the children the language and traditions of South Africa in conjunction with the songs and lines of the play. EWS Music Director Margaret Corbett is the musical director for Lion King, Jr, and Rock of Ages. Broadway Bound will perform Lion King, Jr On January 20th, and The Descendants is planned for May 12th.
Mia feels an education that includes theater is essential because it helps children pursue different sides of themselves and allows them to slip out of their comfort zones. "I have seen students build self-confidence and public speaking skills. It sends the message that they can do anything if they can do this." At East Woods, every Fifth Grade student must perform on stage as part of their music class requirement. Mia states, "some students who started hesitant to participate transformed with excitement and want to do more and more. They are surprised they are capable of performing, surprised how much they enjoy it and how it pushes their boundaries". This year the Fifth Grade production of Rock of Ages will be performed on December 9th at 6:30 pm.
We are very excited to see the talents of our students displayed in the upcoming shows this year.