A cherished, longstanding Ashley Hall tradition, The Christmas Play assumed a digital format for its 2020 production in response to pandemic safety concerns. Against the backdrop of new technology, creative staging, and the need for the cast to socially distance, one thing remained clear: the love for this shared generational experience runs deep.
“This year we reimagined The Christmas Play in order to adhere to public health and safety protocols, and the spirit of this Ashley Hall tradition came to life in an entirely new way. Filmed outdoors on campus, the play allowed us to take full advantage of our cherished Senior Lawn as well as the Bear Cave, which served as the perfect backdrop for the Holy Tableaux.” —Head of School Jill Muti
Ask any alumna to name her favorite Ashley Hall memories, and The Christmas Play makes the list more often than not. Now in its 97th year, the annual performance is nearly as old as the School itself and draws together generations of graduates who relish memories of assuming roles of angels, shepherds, and jesters, reciting time-worn lines, and singing a repertoire that embodies the holiday season.
“The fact that you can reconnect so well with your Ashley Hall experience through watching the play makes it so special,” said Assistant Head of School and Upper School Director Anne Weston ’73, who treasures many fond memories of watching and performing in the play. “This year we worked hard to preserve the tradition of The Christmas Play in the face of challenging conditions.”
Historically, the logistics of The Christmas Play have adapted through the years to allow for location changes and staging demands, and the digital version represents the latest of these transformations. While the medium of delivery may change, it is reassuring to know the essence of this beloved tradition remains very much the same.
Another special Ashley Hall tradition is the sending of alumnae “telegrams.” Each year, alumnae cast members of The Christmas Play share warm wishes with members of the current cast. Filled with fun memories and loving support, these “telegrams” offer a glimpse into the special bond our alumnae have to their School and each other. Happy reading!
Ashley Hall is thrilled to introduce a NEW addition to its team sports and activities, The McBee Singers, an elite vocal dance team of polished young singers and dancers with a strong community presence. The McBee Singers will build an eclectic repertoire of dynamic musical performances of Pop, Broadway, and Jazz favorites, with a unique and creative twist!
This exhilarating team of singers and dancers will illuminate and elevate Ashley Hall’s campus, as well as the local community, through quality and meaningful performances. The McBee Singers will also compete in national show choir invitationals.
View a sneak peek below of the energy and excitement students will experience as a dance team member!
The McBee Singers has two separate divisions: Varsity for grades 7 to 12 and Junior Varsity for grades 5 and 6. Team members are selected through an audition process attached to a 4-day bootcamp, which provides interested students with a sample of The McBee Singers’ repertoire and excitement. Pre-registration is required.
The McBee Singers will be led by Performing Arts faculty member Kirk Pfeiffer in Lane Hall 201. A one-time costume and materials fee of $250 will be charged.
CACC Extension is a new robust after school theatre arts program that offers Ashley Hall students grades 2-12 the opportunity to further develop their talent and skills in the areas of dance (ballet, theatre jazz, tap), acting, and voice.
CACC Extension is conducted by the Cultural Arts Center of Charleston (CACC), the Resident Performing Arts Company at Ashley Hall, and will offer classes to Ashley Hall students, by grade level, throughout the week, beginning September 21. CACC Extension will be led by Performing Arts faculty member Kirk Pfeiffer in the Gordon Dance studio in Pardue Hall.
Junie B. Jones, The Musical Jr.! February 8 | 7:00 p.m. February 10 | 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: $10, adults | $5, students
Join the Intermediate Program theater ensemble for this delightful stage adaptation of four of Barbara Park’s best-selling books, brought to life in a fun-filled selection of songs and dances. Junie B. Jones, The Musical Jr.! will capture your heart just as the books captivated an entire generation of students.
Coming soon to Davies Auditorium! The Ashley Hall Theater Department presents Beehive: The 60’s Musical, chronicling the changing role of women as defined by a decade of remarkable transition. From bubble-gum sweet girl groups to gritty female solo artists, this musical retrospective features the sounds of the 1960s from women’s perspectives. Buy your tickets and support our rising stars!
Tickets: $10 for Adults $8 for Students
Friday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 21 at 3:00 p.m.
The ability of dance to stir emotions and build connections was evident during this year’s first performance of The Caterpillar Thriller, an original story-in-dance featuring dancers from second through sixth grades. Written and staged by Lower School faculty member Stephanie Christensen, The Caterpillar Thriller presents a powerful message that “being odd’s not bad” and if we remain true to who we are, we will ultimately find others who are just like us.
Students, parents, faculty, and staff were enchanted by the heart-warming story of a little caterpillar’s journey to grow into her true self and discover her own place within the world. Gorgeous costumes and lively music created the perfect atmosphere for a captivating display of dance. An Ashley Hall favorite, The Caterpillar Thriller has been performed on campus on two previous occasions to capacity audiences. You do not want to miss this year’s memorable performance! Future showtimes are May 17 at 7:00pm and May 19 at 3:00pm in Davies Auditorium. Each performance is free, with RSVPs requested. Online RSVPs are now closed, so please arrive early to the performances to ensure your spot. To learn more about the Lower School, click on the button below.
Attendees of this year’s String Fling at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul weren’t prepared for the heartwarming and emotional program that unfolded. In addition to performances by the Kindergarten and Pre-First Strings as well as the Lower School Orchestra and Fifth through Eighth Grade Orchestra, Upper School students played a superb rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody and selections from the Lion King. Interspersed between the music selections, sixth graders served as emcees.
Particularly inspiring in their performance was the Senior String Quartet, and senior Loulou Byars gave a moving presentation to Head of School Jill Muti. As Byars said, “Fourteen years ago Mrs. Muti arrived at Ashley Hall and quickly became an important part of our family. The following year, the Class of 2018 entered kindergarten, and Mrs. Muti implemented the new strings program, a program that has had an immense impact upon my own life and the lives of countless others in the Ashley Hall community.”
Afterward, there wasn’t a dry eye in the church as Performing Arts Chair Liz Dinwiddie and the Upper School Chamber Ensemble played for the four graduating seniors of the Senior String Quartet. These girls have been a part of something special that Mrs. Muti started fourteen years ago and represent the limitless possibilities for everyone at Ashley Hall. PQV!