Bringing the Renaissance to life on stage at Eagle County Charter Academy | VailDaily.com

Bringing the Renaissance to life on stage at Eagle County Charter Academy

Daily staff report
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Colin Meiring directs the 5th and 6th grade performers in the Eagle County Charter Academy Renaissance Festival.
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily |

EDWARDS — It all started in 2004, when Vail Performing Arts Academy’s (VPAA) artistic director, Colin Meiring, was asked to bring theater arts enrichments to Eagle County Charter Academy (ECCA) students. For the past 10 years, under Meiring’s direction, ECCA students continue to enjoy three trimesters of arts enrichments, including a fall musical performance enrichment, a winter video/acting for the camera enrichment and a spring cotillion.

This year, Meiring’s fall enrichment culminates in a Renaissance Theater Festival to complement the history classes and bring about an interactive way to teach about a time that was filled with classical revival. And what better way to do it than through scenes, song, dance and comedy?

Since September, ECCA 5th and 6th graders have spent their Friday enrichments learning not only musical theater, but also comedy improvisation, stage combat and character development. The resulting Renaissance Theater Festival is a colorful, delightfully entertaining and high-energy performance that will take place at ECCA Friday at 10 a.m.

“It never ceases to amaze me what Colin is able to do with 80 kids once a week,” said faculty member Peyton Schlichting. “The performances he puts together are amazing, and most of all, fun. We are so lucky to have such a valuable resource in our valley that allows us to expose the ECCA community to performing arts.”

Students will portray kings and queens, ladies and lords, servants and lowly peasants in a custom musical revue that incorporates modern music and dance, as well as, period pieces from the Renaissance era.

ECCA parent Susan Farrell has two children participating in the performance, Seamus and Frances. She said, “ The best part of this is that the knowledge of this time period is brought about through humor and music. It’s a very interactive way to learn.”

It’s also a confidence building team activity where each student has a role, and Meirng inspires his young actors though his vast expertise as Broadway veteran, professional choreographer, and ballroom dance champion.

“This is a chance to dance and sing,” said student McKenzie Clyncke who plays Maid Tamarin. “I really enjoy performing.”

Marley Linder who plays Maid Marion and sings a solo said, “It is my passion to perform. I think it’s awesome that I can do what I love at school and with VPAA.”

For more information about Vail Performing Arts Academy, visit http://www.vpaa.org.