Jim Thorpe High School theater club puts on Nigerian play
The Jim Thorpe High School students were treated to a special abbreviated performance of “My Fireflies: The Musical,” a play composed by visiting artist Ibiyinka Alao.
Alao, who is from Nigeria, has been coming to the Jim Thorpe area, especially the high school for the past 10 years, sharing his message of peace.
The theme of “My Fireflies” is letting go of something precious in order to gain something Eternal. Letting your fireflies go, they come back as stars.
Members of the Jim Thorpe High School Theater Club comprised the cast. They included Philomena Oliver, Jonathan Duffy, Kate Newsted, Chloe Tantala, and Eleanor Wilds.
Kaila Alao, Ibiyinka’s wife, sang one of the songs from the play.
The Jim Thorpe High School seniors were seated on the stage during the performance, and Alao dedicated the program to the senior class.
“The seniors will be graduating at the end of the school year,” Alao said. “The idea of the fireflies, that they come back as stars. After the school year ends, we don’t have to be so sad about it. It’s something that you have to let go. The firefly story relates to them directly.
“When I first came to this area 10 years ago, some of the seniors here were in the second grade back then. Just to have the chance to be able to see them again when they are about to graduate. That’s just amazing to me.”
The highlight of the school performance was the backdrop, which drew gasps and applause from the students as the curtain opened.
“It’s the largest painting in the world,” Alao explained. “It’s made of one single stretch of canvas.”
The 100-foot by 12-foot painting was done with luminous paints and was illuminated with black lights.
The performance at Jim Thorpe High School was a small part of the entire play. The full production will be composed of 17 stories, featuring actors, dancers, singers, and more and is expected to be held in July at the Mauch Chunk Museum & Cultural Center in Jim Thorpe. The exact date has not yet been set.
The Jim Thorpe performance will be the debut performance of the play.
Ibiyinka Alao is an artist, filmmaker and author and became the first place winner of the United Nations International Art Competition among 61 countries.
Along with John Lennon, Michael Franti, and Alicia Keys; Alao was named as an artist whose work spreads the message of peace around the world. For more information on Alao, visit https://ibiyinka.com.