The Nightingale: Appreciating what we have

11 June 2012

This year’s musical, The Nightingale, took place on the 22nd and 23rd of March 2012 and was informed by reflecting on the experience of yesteryears.

This year’s musical, The Nightingale, took place on the 22nd and 23rd of March 2012 and was informed by reflecting on the experience of yesteryears.

The Aga Khan Academy, Nairobi – Junior School, took a whole school musical approach and ensured that the entire musical production was driven by involving all students in the different departments in an authentic and meaningful way. Students were asked to sign up and were allocated to the different departments according to their interest, which were: Sets & Props, Marketing, Choir, Students’ band, Dance, Emcees & Ushers, Costume & Make-up, Drama, Sound & Lighting and Script Editing.

The Nightingale is a Chinese folktale about an Emperor and his foolish courtiers who lead an ideal existence in the palace, waited on by a team of long suffering servants. The Emperor’s latest whim was to hear a nightingale, so the palace must be searched to find the tweeting bird.

During the rehearsal period the themes of the story were discussed. Uzayr Sheikh (4K – Drama), aptly suggested the story is about appreciating what we have. Iain Dzionk (3A – Costume & Make-up), explained that the moral of the story is that we, unlike the Emperor, should not expect what we want immediately and that we need to be patient.

There were many reports of improvisation, and in many respects, on-stage inventiveness is the mark of a skillful actor.

All the participants were spot-on during the entire process and this ensured a resounding success for the first whole school musical that has been witnessed in the last eight years.

Listening to the students as they reflect, it’s easy to spot evidence of PYP attitudes, skills and learner profile being put in practice, and as the Emperor said in his last line, "It’s truly time to celebrate!"