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Teachers tune up for show
Staff members at Kate Waller Barrett Elementary School have talents to offer on stage as well as in the classroom

LEE WOOLF
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Date published: 12/1/2004

By LEE WOOLF

IT'S BEEN happening for days now at Kate Waller Barrett Elementary School in North Stafford.

Staff members have been singing little tunes to themselves when they think no one is watching, and then bouncing on their toes to some imaginary beat. Sometimes, larger groups of teachers will huddle in the hallway between classes or after school in animated conversation.

And most of those discussions haven't been about the usual topics--the SOLs, the school board agenda or yesterday's lunch. No, the hot topic at Barrett these days is the annual Teacher Talent Show--the only one of its kind in Stafford County.

The third annual show is Friday night at 6:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria. The admission charge is $3 per person and the event is open to the public. Proceeds will go toward a charitable school project in the spring.

So, what will the audience get for its money?

About 75 staff members have volunteered to participate in about a dozen musical acts--some with intricate choreography, and some withwell, not-so-intricate choreography.

Some of the skits are spoofs of TV programs or advertisements--from the Nickelodeon channel, to "Fear Factor," to the Six Flags commercial with the strange little man who jumps off the tour bus and starts dancing.

Other acts will feature music from the Broadway show "Mamma Mia!" from pop singer Beyonce Knowles and from the '70s disco group the Village People. (Can you spell Y-M-C-A?)

And, of course, there will be lots of costumes.

One of the organizers of the event is Merrill Mollick, the school's bookkeeper. I spoke to her last week, the day after the office staff had its first rehearsal.

"We're all a little sore today from dancing," she said. "But it's fun. Most of the acts will be a surprise--especially the costumes. Nobody will see the whole thing until [Friday] night."

As you might expect, some of the educators-turned-entertainers are better singers and dancers than others. But while there may be a few anxiety attacks this week, it seems everyone understands that the goal is to have fun.

"It's mostly silly acts," said Mollick. "This isn't really a show for serious talent. It's mostly for the kids and their families. And they really seem to enjoy it."


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