“The Life and Times of a Coral Polyp”

St. John School of the Arts offers a unique summer program to empower the youth on St. John. This program is called KICK IT! (Kids Impacting and Connecting with Kids through Informative Technology). Up to 25 students ages 9 – 17 participate in a 3 week intense study on various issues that our young people are concerned about. This year (2013) we studied the coral reef and the effects of the environment, both natural and manmade. Through music, acting, production, art, songwriting and movement, the students showed how to protect them and why it’s important to all of us using the theme of “The Life and Times of a Coral Polyp,” a dance drama that one of SJSA’s faculty Jude Woodcock wrote many years ago.

We expanded the story to include music and production. Faculty members engaged the students in learning a traditional, Caribbean folk song on steel pan, drums and other instruments and changed the lyrics to suit the theme. The song was named “In the Sea.”

By the end of the first week we realized that we actually had two different projects happening: a live, theatrical performance and a music video.

Since we have six faculty members strong as well as two adjunct teachers with professional experience in their given field, we forged on and were able to finish both projects, pleasantly fulfilled.

The last week was spent finalizing the live performance and recording their song and shooting on location for the video. On Saturday, July 27, 2013 the students performed to a full audience with enthusiasm and intent. They were able to feel the immediate appreciation of the audience for all their hard work as well as experience how differently working on a video was.