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Our Local Student Musical Goes Global

posted on Thu, Feb 4 2016 2:03 pm by Amy S.

An original Project SUCCESS musical is about to make its international debut. 

In January 2015, after months of collaboration with Project SUCCESS staff and local performing arts professionals, a group of Minneapolis and St. Paul students premiered “And So I Did” – a musical they wrote and performed based on their own experiences transitioning into ninth grade. After a competitive audition process, 11 students were selected to take part in the creation of a musical that would tell their own unique, personal stories. “And So I Did” addressed the challenges and concerns young people have about transitioning successfully from middle school to high school, and the importance of being true to oneself. The production toured Twin Cities high schools in January and February 2015, reaching more than 2,700 students with its messages of strength, individuality, support and friendship. 

Now, a new version of the musical is set to take the global stage. Next week, Project SUCCESS will travel to Mexico City and Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico – a Minneapolis sister city – to perform “And So I Did” for 800 local students, community members, business professionals and local leaders.

The trip came about as a result of a Project SUCCESS partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools and Deputy Education Officer Elia Bruggeman. Though Morelos is the second-smallest of Mexico’s 31 states, it has sent more than 100,000 immigrants to Minnesota, making up more than half of Minnesota’s Mexican immigrants and many of its immigrant entrepreneurs. During the trip the Project SUCCESS delegation will also meet with various local and state political and education leaders, including Diputada Edith Beltran Carrillo, Secretary of Economics of the Executive Branch of Morelos.  

For students, visiting Cuernavaca is an opportunity to broaden their global perspectives – allowing them to develop a set of competencies and the integrated identity that they will need in order to succeed in a global community and as global citizens. Many of the students from the original “And So I Did” are reprising their roles as they adapt the story for new audiences. The Cuernavaca production will be performed with the inclusion of new songs, Spanish subtitles and some monologues re-written in Spanish. 

For more, visit the “And So I Did” webpage and watch our 2015 trailer below. 

Current Cast

Alejandro Eduarte, Edison High School
Amira Warren-Yearby, University of St. Thomas
Amudalat Ajasa, St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists
Kaaha Kaahiye, Saint Paul Central High School
Kate Anderson, Roosevelt High School
Lydia Zupanc, South Senior High School
Natashia Otiso, South Senior High School
Ray Johnson Jensen, South Senior High School
Rudy Meyer, Southwest High School 

Project SUCCESS Staff

Adrienne Diercks, Executive Director
Jeffry Lusiak, Program Manager, Musicals
George Maurer, Music Director

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