*Reviews: Educational and Academic Professionals

The following reviews come from education and academic professionals such as Principles, Vice Principles, Guidance Counselors, Teachers and representatives for educational programs such as BOCES.

November  2013 Vernon Verona Sherill Middle School  Production Reviews

“The musical was one of the many ways we meet our DASA requirements.  We focus on being proactive, rather than reactive when it comes to educating students on how to make proper choices.  We continuously provide our students with character education and teach them about respect and responsibility.  The musical was a great addition to enhancing our social and emotional skills that we try to instill in our students.

 My favorite song was “Why do they hurt?” because it had a great message regarding the negative impacts of bullying.

 My favorite scene was “ This isn’t where I belong” because once again, I think it opened some of our students eyes on how they can hurt a student’s self-esteem without even realizing how much power they have over another individual.  Also, I like when the student say the song “Mama I’m Sorry” because it showed how people can realize the harm they are causing other people and make changes in order to make the situation correct.

 I was very proud to be sitting in the audience watching over fifty of our students perform in this musical.  They lit up the stage and delivered wonderful life lessons to the audience.  I am forever grateful that our students were given such a positive opportunity to impact many lives.”

 Carrie Hodkinson, VVS Middle School Principal

 “I believe Middle School Madness-The Musical creates conversations and deep thinking about life as a middle schooler (and how complex it is). As a teacher directly involved in the production of this show, I was privy to seeing the subject matter directly connect with the ages this show was intended for.”  

Brandie Collins, VVS Vocal Music Teacher & Musical Director

July 2012 Full Production Reviews

“As a teacher of seventh graders, I felt that “Middle School Madness” was right on the money with its depiction of middle school students and their issues.  The lyrics to the songs were sometimes funny, sometimes heart wrenching, and usually brutally honest! There was a unique mix of emotions evoked throughout the show—emotions felt by everyone at some point in time, especially middle schoolers.  On a daily basis, I see the types of situations that were acted out in Middle School Madness.  They’re all real: bullying, struggling with body image, sorting through what makes someone a true friend, dealing with parents. . .the list goes on.  It helps to know that to some extent, they “all feel the same way”; and more importantly, they “all have a voice”.  The upbeat message with which the show ends leaves everyone watching with hope, and a much lighter heart!”

Margaret Kemp, 7th Grade Science Teacher, Strough Middle School, Rome, NY

“I attended the opening performance of Middle School Madness and I want you to know how impressed I was with the entire production! I taught school in New Hartford for 33 years and can truly understand the time and energy that it took to produce such a magnificent piece of work. The acting was superb and so difficult to believe that they are only middle schoolers themselves! I have recommended this show to all of my friends and family and I was thrilled to see it return to MVCC in November. Good luck on this performance and I hope to see this play on Broadway in the near future. It surely deserves a place there!!”

Bonnie Montana, Retired Second Grade Teacher, Utica, NY

November 2012 Cabaret Reviews

 “This performance is an example of what teens can accomplish with the right direction! Great Acting! Great Directing! This shows needs to be repeated and shown to as many schools, parents, and communities as possible. I watched students’ reactions between each scene; they were engaged and discussing events of Middle School Madness!”

Otis Jennings, Diversity and Educational Consultant, NY  

 “Total compliments from top to bottom! Motivates, inspiring, educational in its creativity! Amazing! Utilize; implement this all facets of the community! Thank you! Job incredibly done. Looking forward to see how this blossoms as one of the countries top “gigs” on this subject matter!”

Greg Auffrey, Assistant Safety Coordinator (OHM BOCES), NY

 “Terrific!! We want to bring all of our grades! More, more, more! Thank you!!”

John Harrington, Vice Principal, Camden Middle School, NY

 “Wonderful performance! Can’t wait to bring back to my school!”

Diane Lowery, ADAPEP Counselor, West Genesee Middle School, NY

 “Excellent! Focuses on bullying/harassment…positive communication…awesome balance with Dignity Act!!”

Michele Spohn Grider, OHM BOCES, NY

 “This should be shown to every middle school in America! Absolutely fantastic!”

Marilyn Olejniuk, Guidance Counselor, Strough Middle School, Rome, NY

 “This is a great way to bring the whole entire school community together around real, tough issues.”

Brittany Lynch, Music/Drama/Chorus Teacher, Strough Middle School, Rome, NY

 “I think our students connected to this show not only because they could relate to the content, but also because the actors were their age. Great show for our students to experience!”

Jen Hummel, English Teacher, Camden Middle School, Camden, NY

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