Abbott Elementary is the story of a school where we follow students and teachers as they navigate life together. They are faced with struggles in their classroom, with the lack of resources and an incapable principal, but never give up. With a star student, who becomes paralyzed from her injuries on the field during sports practice, Abbott Elementary shows us that every voice deserves to be heard and every child deserves to have hope.
What is the plot of the story ?
A group of dedicated, passionate teachers , a principal — find themselves thrown together in a Philadelphia public school where, they are determined to help their students succeed in life. Though these incredible public servants may be imperfect (one is a recovering alcoholic), their dedication to their students has placed them above most educators.
Who is in the cast ? What role did each character portray ?
The cast include Quinta Brunson, Janelle James , April of Dymondwood , Brittani Cooper, and Derwin Means; and the principal, Tyrone Connors. Although this could be done through role play or through a series of monologues, we felt that it needed to be done in real time so the directorical team could capture it all. For the first few days we decided to have six classes doing the same monologue at a time.
What are the difficulties they faced ?
The biggest difficulty was the school that we were given. The school is a real school in Philadelphia and we were not allowed to change any of the physical aspects. It wasn’t until we had all of our gear and our cast set up, that we found out the computer system did not work, nor could it be reset without a password from their IT guys and they weren’t scheduled to arrive until 10:30am that day. Whenever we think of themes, we like to focus on a couple that really drive the story home. The two we chose were Hope and Awareness.
Who is the antagonist ? What are its motives ?
The antagonistic role in the piece is the principal Tyrone Connors. He is the one that makes everyone’s lives difficult, but is just doing his job to make sure students are prepared for life. It simply doesn’t understand how dedicated and passionate teachers can be about their students. He often makes himself look inept, but really has his student’s best interest at heart.
What are the epic scenes ?
So many scenes. We have a musical number of “I can do anything”, a class singing the national anthem, and our star student is injured during physical education. She is left paralyzed from the waist down and on an oxygen tank. The outpouring of support from her teachers helps her to realize that she needs to do something but doesn’t know what to do, until one teacher says “You’re going to be a star”.
Who is the most loved character ?
We would say April, the teacher that takes care of the star student. She is a loving, nurturing person and helps our heroines grow as people. She is also in a loving relationship with her partner. We call it a “Multi-Story”. The students are preparing for their final exam, and thinking about how to get to next year. A teacher is about to do the principal’s job, but doesn’t think it is fair that he did not get a raise when all the teachers got one. So, she decides to fight for more, and she also talks with her protégés and they decide they are going to take this school back.
Would you recommend watching this ?
We would recommend it to all types of people. This is a movie that shows a large cross section of our country and can make any person think. If you are an activist/activist-in-training, this could be an interesting experience for you to see how other people across the country have their own stories. Thanks for reading !
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