The money, secured by Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton), will help students from three classes learn about set and costume design, acting, digital photography, lighting and other aspects of theater as they work alongside Black Spectrum Theatre Founder Carl Clay to put on a production of a musical that was made into a movie in 1978 starring Diana Ross, Richard Pryor, Michael Jackson and others. "The Wiz" is a black adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" that attempts to capture the inner city experience. The PS 52 production, which should be put on May, will also be broadcast on Queens Public Television, giving students that are not comfortable singing or acting a chance to learn about camera work and other aspects of television production. Principal Linda Pough said that three classes of students and the school's chorus will be involved in the play.She thanked Sanders for working to allocate the money and praised his efforts to bring city funds to his district."He's been good at making sure we have what we need," Pough said.The allocation of the money was announced last Thursday at a news conference where Sanders spoke with about 20 sixth-grade students at the school on 146th Terrace. He urged them to think clearly about their goals and then work to achieve them."Everyday do something to move yourself toward your goal," Sanders said. "You can't fly like an eagle if you're hanging with turkeys." He also told the students that he did some acting when he was their age. The experience, he said, prepared him for politics.Acting "allows you not to be yourself for a minute," Sanders told the students, who peppered the councilman with questions about whether or not he liked his job.Sanders assured them that he does, although he said it forces him to deal with some "tough, dangerous guys.""I don't like the politics," Sanders said. "But I like making things happen for you. . .Everything that's not nailed down I'm bringing home."Clay, who was also on hand at the news conference, said the grant will also enable the theater to give the students season passes for themselves and a parent. Clay said he hoped this would expose the students to theater and possibly spark their interest in the art form.Reach Reporter Craig Giammona by e-mail at news@times
©2006 Community News Group
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