The Tree of Life
Presented by the Class of 2020
On a planet that seems perfect from the outside, a tree gives life and magic to all of the creatures and people. When the tree begins to die, the leader of the planet, Lord Jason, hatches a plan to find the source of what is killing the tree. Lord Jason's children, Alan and Morana, however, have different plans to fight against the darkness consuming the tree. Meanwhile, in the woods, a group of forest creatures have their own ideas of how to protect the tree, not realizing they're working alongside a fairy who is keeping a dark secret.
In mid-April, around when the fifth grade class would usually begin rehearsals for their fifth grade play, drama teacher Ms. Andie sat down in a Zoom call with the fifth graders and asked, "What kind of story do you want to tell for your play?" As the students shared ideas, they built upon each other's suggestions and eventually a story outline was born. With the restrictions of shelter-in-place, the class decided a radio play, using only voice, music, and sound effects, would allow them to tell their story best.
Over the next month, the 5th graders to began creating characters for themselves that would fit into the story. Next, students wrote dialogue, created passages of narration, and found or recorded sound effects. Over Zoom calls, the fifth graders read through each scene aloud and wrote scenes collaboratively as a class. Ms. Laura wrote two original songs for the play and held singing rehearsals over video. Eventually, the script was set and each student was tasked with recording their lines and songs, alone in their house. Ms. Andie then took the individual audio files, sound effects, and suggested pieces of music, and edited the whole thing together.