York Middle School presents the original anti-bullying musical The Love Note, supporting positive parenting and inspiring independent youth, on Friday March 31 and Saturday April 1, 7:00 pm, at York Middle School, 30 Organug Road, York. Tickets are $5, available at the door. The Love Note musical, written by playwright/composer Gail Phaneuf, with orchestrations by Chris Cho, is directed by Bob Carbone, with music direction by Susan Frank, choreography by Nina Morse.
The Love Note musical follows young Jessie on a spirited journey at a new school, where she attempts to navigate the lunchroom bullies, a new crush and learning how to stand up for herself. With a lively cast of characters and a rousing score, The Love Note explores the trials of being ‘the new kid’, learning the ropes of self-reliance and survival techniques that carry into adulthood.
Wacky bookworms, menacing bullies and up-and-coming ‘tween fashionistas drive a fast-paced narrative, all under the watchful eye of a soup-ladle wielding lunch lady. Jessie’s lonely school lunches are heartened by the tiny pink love note her mother packs into her brown paper bag each day, but once chief-bully Brittany bites into her snatched sandwich, Jessie knows she is in trouble. Working out challenges with her magical friend Airy, together they concoct a spicy strategy to help Jessie stand up for her lunch.
Director Bob Carbone shares “We’re pleased that our drama club has the opportunity to work on this production. The more we rehearse, the more meaning we draw from the theme, the script and the music. It gives us a vehicle to promote discussion on the topics of bullying and social pressure at our middle school.”
An extension of the show’s productions, The Love Note Project redefines the power of a lunch “packed with love”, by allowing parents to share their own love notes to the show’s website to spread their support and help stomp out bullying. Curriculum specialist Kelly Schell shares, “A love note provides a simple example of parental love and support through the tiny written gesture in a child’s lunch, but the impact is so powerful … not only for Jessie, who is only reaffirmed in the knowledge that she is loved and cared for, but also for Brittany and the ‘mean girls’ who desperately want that supportive love and family attention to be present in their own lives.”
The Love Note is whole-family entertainment that uplifts audiences while tackling real-life themes of teen bullying, independence and parental authority. “Everyone remembers the terror of sitting alone in the lunchroom, or feeling too insecure to sit with the popular kids.’’ says Gail Phaneuf, Boston-based playwright/composer for The Love Note, and Curry College Playwright-in-Residence. She is an award-winning writer and director of many plays and musicals, including comedic Monsters! A Midlife Musical Meltdown.
For further information, music and images from The Love Note, or to learn more about The Love Note Project, please visit www.thelovenote.com, or follow The Love Note on Facebook or Twitter.
For more information about playwright Gail Phaneuf, please visit www.gailphaneuf.com.
Photo: Playwright/composer Gail Phaneuf and Orchestrator Chris Cho (center) visit with the cast of The Love Note at York Middle School, courtesy image.