Downers Grove’s Lincoln Center was abuzz with music and entertainment on Friday, July 14. That evening, a group of Pierce Downer students debuted “Middle Notes,” a musical entirely written, choreographed and directed by Pierce Downer incoming sixth graders Malini and Pallavi Fisher. The dynamic cast and crew comprised about 20 Pierce Downer students.
Inspiration for “Middle Notes” began last school year when Malini wrote a script by the same name that promoted a pro-social message about bullying and its effects on elementary children. She submitted the script to the Young Authors Conference Contest and placed first at her school, earning an invitation to the state’s Young Author’s Conference!
“When they said on the announcements that I won, I was really, really happy! I have submitted an entry every year, and this year I thought I’d be different and write a script. I felt really proud of my writing piece this year and the fact that I won was a bonus!” said Malini.
During a rainy spring Girl Scout outing, several Girl Scouts convinced Malini to turn her script into a musical. Malini solicited the help of her sister, Pallavi, to write and compose music to her script.
“When Malini told me she was going to put on the play, I thought it was just sort of obvious to add music. Although, writing music is A LOT harder than it seems!” Pallavi said. “I learned a lot in the process about putting a musical together. I feel like, in the end, everyone’s dedication and hard work was all worth it.”
Suddenly, “Middle Notes” transformed from a simple script to a big production, complete with auditions, a band, scenery, rehearsals, props and more!
“At first, I thought the kids would forget about it and lose interest, but that did not happen. Not only did my girls rally but so did all the kids in the show!” reflected Anu Fisher, Malini and Pallavi’s mom.
Mrs. Fisher helped the girls with the initial scheduling and coordination, and they took it from there.
“They truly have done most everything on their own,” Mrs. Fisher said.
For six weeks, the “Middle Notes” cast worked hard memorizing lines, learning music and rehearsing together for the show.
“Many performers started practice not knowing each other well, but worked together for the common goal without any conflict. It was easy to oversee their rehearsals because everyone involved wanted to be there and wanted to put on a great show!” added Mrs. Fisher.
Their hard work culminated on July 14, when the cast and crew performed in front of a large crowd at Lincoln Center. Guests marveled at the cast’s performance, as well as the positive message the musical promoted. While attendance was free, the cast accepted donations to the West Suburban Community Pantry.
“The show turned out so awesome, I can’t even believe it,” Malini said, reflecting on her experience. “I was backstage when the actual performance occurred, so I had no idea how it would turn out. But, when I watched the video, it was soooooo good. Everyone in the play did such a good job and put a lot of effort into it. From the actors, to the band, to the stage crew: it was a dream come true.”
Photos courtesy of the Fisher Family.