Visitors to Dublin Scioto High School Friday, Jan. 24, through Sunday, Jan. 26, will be able to immerse themselves in Amelia Earhart's life through a project partnering Scioto theater students with Advanced Placement U.S. history, honors English II, art and engineering students.
Scioto's production of "Calling Amelia," about the female pilot who flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean and disappeared in 1937 while attempting to make a circumnavigational flight around the world, opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at the high school, 4000 Hard Road.
Visitors also will be able to learn more about Earhart in the lobby outside the theater. Students have transformed the space to feature various moments from her life.
John Witt, a social studies teacher at Scioto, said he always wanted to create a project capable of immersing people in a different time period. Such an experience, he said, helps students better retain and understand information.
For "Calling Amelia," Witt was able to secure a $1,200 innovation grant from the district for the project.
"We're super excited about it," he said.
To create the lobby experience, students began researching Earhart's life at the end of October, Witt said. They began constructing the project Jan. 13, he said.
Each exhibit was designed to highlight a moment in the pilot's life, such as her childhood, her efforts during World War I and her record-breaking flights.
The project features plane models as well as aircraft that can be experienced via virtual reality, Witt said.
Dublin City Schools elementary school students are scheduled to visit the lobby and view the performance during the school day, he said.
Whereas Witt had been wanting to create an immersive historical experience for students, Scioto theater director Patricia Santanello had been considering the piece "Calling Amelia," for a few years, waiting to fit it into the right yearly line-up of shows.
The show was created by students who participated in a program run by the Lovewell Institute, which holds workshops in the U.S. and Sweden with high school and middle school students, Santanello said. Students participating have three weeks to conceive, write and perform an original musical, she said.
"Calling Amelia" was created in 2014 in Sweden and Scioto High School's production will be the first time it is being performed in the U.S., she said.
The show features three different roles for Amelia, Santanello said. It explores Amelia as a young girl, Amelia as a pilot and Amelia Rose Earhart, a newscaster in Denver who completed the elder Earhart's doomed flight and began a foundation to help young girls become pilots.
Norah Gilbert, a 15-year-old sophomore who is portraying pilot Amelia, said the role is a fun one to play on stage. Earhart didn't care what people thought of her and had confidence in what she did, Gilbert said.
"I think she was extremely empowering," she said.
Gilbert participated in a Lovewell workshop last summer. She said she could see the personality of the students who created the production. She said she could see they focused on making the songs in the show accessible to other students, she said.
'It's going to be a really amazing show," she said.
Meredith Bean, an 18-year-old senior who serves as the show's stage manager, said the performance is different from the majority the high school has done. Everyone is playing a couple of different roles, she said.
Bean said she appreciated seeing the school come together to portray Earhart's life in more than one way -- via stage and the lobby.
"It's coming together really well," she said.
"Calling Amelia" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 and 25 and 2 p.m. Jan. 26. More information can be found online at dublinsciototheatre.org.