In his last year as a full-time educator, Brookwood Elementary School music teacher Johnny Carr chose Colors: We're Better Together as the first play for the new season of the Broadway at Brookwood series.
The play will be performed by 120 second-graders Sept. 26 at 2:15 and 7 p.m.
"It has a very good message about getting along with each other and yet maintaining your individuality, because each crayon has its own color," Carr said. "It took the whole crayon box to paint the picture."
It is the first time pupils at Brookwood Elementary have performed the play in more than 10 years, Carr said.
The play focuses on inclusion and acceptance, he said.
The central characters, a black crayon and a white crayon, feel left out because they're not getting used as much as other crayons.
"At the end, they realize they're important, too, because they painted the black sky with the white, twinkling stars to let other crayons rest."
While this year's Broadway at Brookwood series includes the resurrection of an old play, it also contains the last performance of a perennial favorite.
The fourth-grade production of The Nutcracker, held Dec. 5 and 6, will be the final performances of the show, at least for now, Carr said.
After 31 years of teaching, Carr plans to retire at the end of the school year.
He'll continue working part-time at Brookwood, but a new music teacher will take over production of the third- through fifth-grade musicals.
The Nutcracker remains one of Carr's favorite musicals, he said.
"We've done it for 16 years and, literally, hundreds of thousands of people have seen it," he said. "Kids get bused in to this and we've taken it to a lot of different places."
In his time as director of The Nutcracker, Carr estimates 1,700 pupils have performed in the play.
Other shows in the series this year include Brookwood Sings America, Nov. 6; I Remember Martin Luther King Jr., Jan. 11-12; Sleeping Beauty, March 26-28; Get Hoppin', May 7; and Best of Brookwood Variety Show, May 18.
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