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A ‘Good’ Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Teachers, administrators, and staff of Milford Public Schools came together to perform the musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum on January 24 and 25. The performance was a fundraiser in order to establish an Emergency Relief Fund for students and their families affected by catastrophes. For more photos of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by Melissa Orff visit TownCrier.us and click on photo galleries.





Teachers, administrators, and staff of the Milford Public Schools took on new roles during the weekend of January 24 and 25 as they stepped into the spotlight to be a part of the musical performance A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

The musical was organized as fundraiser, with the proceeds from the two performances going to establish an Emergency Relief Fund for students and their families affected by catastrophes. "Last year, three school families lost their homes to fire," said Milford's Middle School Music Teacher and the musical's Director Karen Hastie-Wilson. "The teachers really wanted to do something to help them but there wasn't an organized way to do it. I thought 'There has got to be a better way to reach out to the families'," she said.

That is when Hastie-Wilson came up with the idea of putting on a musical, and started to ask other teachers and staff in the district to join in. "I knew this would be a great way to reach out, raise some money, and have some fun at the same time," she said.

Hastie-Wilson said she didn't have to do too much arm twisting for cast members, either. Forty-five staff members, faculty, retired teachers, and alumni agreed to play roles in the production, both on-stage and behind the scenes. "Teachers go into this profession because they want to help people. So when they knew that this would give us a resource to help those in need, they were all for it," said Hastie-Wilson. Hastie-Wilson also said along with the teachers and staff, the cast included School Committee Member Scott Harrison and the orchestra included School Superintendent Robert Tremblay.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, written by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, is a musical set in ancient Rome and is chock full of "disguises, innuendos, and slapstick comedy." "I chose this performance because I felt that it was a show that adults could shine in, and that although the humor is at an adult level, children can appreciate it as well," said Hastie-Wilson. She also said choosing a musical was an easy decision because of their target audience. "Milford loves theater and music!" she exclaimed.

Hastie-Wilson said that many of the sets and costumes for the performance were hand-made by faculty and staff as well. "We had a lot of help," she said. That help also included High School Band and General Music Teacher Jill Langford Boday, who acted as Orchestra Conductor for the musical. Boday said before the performance that she was looking forward to seeing her student's reactions. "I think it is good for the students to come and see us in a different light...to see their teachers on stage," she said.

After the performance, Hastie-Wilson said she was "thrilled" with the turnout and the reception by the audience. As for a repeat performance, Hastie-Wilson said there is already a lot of interest. "The cast members are ready to do another show next year and people who were not in the cast this year have said they want to be in the next show," she said.




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