Jun 10, 201109:19 AMYouth and Services
No Ordinary School Production
On April 25th, Cincinnati Country Day School hosted the one night only performance of the spring musical- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. However, it was no ordinary school production. CCDS normally does some manner of short play, or collection of skits in the spring, and only puts on the winter musical. This year, the school performed two musicals, one of which was Putnam County. But this production was different not only in that it was the second musical of the year; it was also student directed, charged no admission but accepted donations, and donated all proceeds to the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for the children of fallen American service people.
Alyssa “Ali” Breneman, who graduated from CCDS this month, has been at the center of the CCDS theatre scene for years. She stretched her talent past performing this spring, and entered the realm of directing. She put the show together herself, and chose to donate all proceeds to the American Legion, which provides scholarships for the children of American veterans.
Ali decided at the start of the project to donate all funds to a charitable cause. Together with the cast, she decided that the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund would be particularly fitting.
“ We thought it would be really cool to donate the funds to something that had to do with children and education,” explained Ali, “because the show is about a spelling bee.” Additionally, several of Ali’s grandparents were in the armed forces, making the service a prevalent topic in her mind.
The cast was made up of eight students and three adults (two CCDS teachers), all of whom donated their time to Ali’s project. Before opening on the 25th, they “spent every waking moment together” in the weeks of rehearsal. The show was a one night only performance, which raised $610 for the American Legion.
The Putnam County project ended up being a true exhibition of community, not just a fundraiser. “It’s hard to count the number of people who helped with the project,” said Ali. “Between programs, advertising and just getting everything together, probably all the parents of every student in the cast” were involved in some way. “It sounds so cheesey,” Ali added about her favorite part of the project, “but we went from being students in four different grades… and we became a family for the few weeks we spent every waking moment together.”