After patiently waiting in line, the crowds filed in to Helena Nobles-Jones Auditorium at Charles H. Flowers High School on Saturday, April 1. They were there to enjoy the Jaguar Players production, “Motown and Mo The Musical.” Written, produced and directed by Shanelle D. Ingram, the Jaguar Players are comprised of 9-12th graders from the school’s drama department.
If you think this was just the run-of-the-mill high school production; think again. The students began practicing for the musical in September. The musical, flawlessly directed by Christopher L. Nichols featured the songs of various artists from the Motown Era and beyond. Hits from the Temptations and The Supremes wafted through the area. A troupe of female students took on the songs of the Jackson 5.
PositivelyGospel.com spoke to some of the students. Llogan Peters joined the Jauguar Players last year when she was in 11th grade. Llogan auditioned and accepted into Howard University’s Acting Program. This fall, she will major in Theatre Arts with a concentation in acting. Llogan appreciates the value of participating in the arts.
“It’s a good thing to join the arts because it’s another form of self-expression. Some people like myself struggle with expressing themselves verbally. In theatre, you can do whatever you like; they don’t know you and you don’t know them and it’s all about performing and having a great attitude. It’s another form of yourself and if you’re interested in acting anybody should go for it. Because arts run the world. You need arts to stay happy, be positive. A lot of people look to theatre as another form of happiness so, it’s a great thing to get into.”
Katrina Morgan is in her second year as well with the Jaguars. Katrina sees the benefits in working with a large cast on a big production. “In middle school we had dramas, but it wasn’t as big as this, and we didn’t have as much hard work.
I like singing dancing and acting so speaking. So, it’s just another fun experience.”
By the way, Katrina is no stranger the world of music and arts. She is the daughter of famed Stellar Award winning broadcast announcer Tracy Morgan. Katrina serves as a narrator and dancer in the production and enjoyed the teamwork on set. “I learned many lessons, mainly about teamwork, helping each other out. Even during the show, we have a lot of quick changes so with the costumes we have to work together to make sure it all comes together.”
Principal Gorman Brown is very proud of what the students have accomplished. “There is lots to be said about our young people that are just coming through the process at the beginning of the year, not knowing what they are going to do: learning the choreography, learning the skits and just investing in the process of entertaining and teaching at the same time. What you’ve got is a lot of entertainment; a lot of singing and dancing, but also, a lot about Black history, the history of Motown, which is African American history in our country. It’s wonderful to see them thoroughly engrossed in the process and this is what they do every year.”
Brown also has high praises for Shanelle Ingram and the works she does each year to present quality productions. “Ms. Ingram is a God-send. She’s just such a blessing to our school community. Every year she comes to me and says, ‘Mr. Brown can I do this year’ and I say whatever you want to do, we got you.
Motown and Mo The Musical is a wonderful family show. It has fabulous music, great costume design and is a great representation of the important arts in our schools. Catch one of the final performances this weekend.
Friday, April 7, 2017
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Tickets: $10. Preferred seating: $15.
For tickets or more information call 301-636-8000, ext 81180 or email: [email protected]