LAKEWOOD – More than 100 costumed fifth-graders at Stephen Foster Elementary will bring the American Revolution to life at 11 a.m. Friday, May 29 through a series of short plays that opens a window into colonial life and the battle for America’s independence.
The annual historical re-enactment – staged in the quad area of the school at 5223 Bigelow St. – begins with a “stroll” to show everyday colonial life. The action shifts to the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party before concluding with the Ride of Paul Revere and the battles of Lexington and Concord.
The 50-minute show is scripted, but students are encouraged to ad-lib lines from their study of the times, making each performance one of a kind.
“Every year, family members let me know how enjoyable and meaningful the experience is for our students,” Stephen Foster Principal Deirdre Reyes said. “It’s also exciting to hear the younger students buzz about what they will do when they get to be in the plays.”
Students are clad in costumes crafted from materials they bring to school as well as donations of rifles, redcoats, colonial dresses, vests and tricorn hats accumulated over the years.
The program was launched more than 30 years ago by now-retired Bellflower Unified teacher Bruce Hendrick, who staged student plays against the backdrop of the mock-up of Boston Harbor at Cerritos’ Heritage Park, which also features a statue of Paul Revere.
The tradition continues under the direction of current fifth-grade teachers Nedra D’Ambrosio, Katherine Porciuncula and Viggo Mangold.
These days, the event has grown too large for the park, with more than 100 parents and Bellflower Unified leaders joining the school’s entire student body for the show.