Snow White and the Three Languages: Spanish, French, Latin students work together to perform multi-lingual

 Hola! Bonjour! Salve! On Friday afternoons Anita Lemons’ Spanish room has been home to more than just Spanish. Spanish, French and Latin students have been rehearsing for the performance of a multi-lingual musical, Snow White.

“I like that it is very cultural,” said junior Hannah Stone, member of the Spanish section and Timido (Bashful) the Dwarf.  “We get to sing in a different language and that is really fun.”

Making Snow White a musical made the play more difficult. 

“It’s a lot harder since we had to learn how to sing in French,” said junior Amber Megee.

Coordinating all the languages into one play has been tough for the actors and teachers.

“The toughest part is getting cues down,” said senior Matthew Roselli, the Spanish Prince Charming. “None of the teachers know all three languages so it is tough to coordinate.”

The idea to do the play came to Lemons when she wanted to showcase foreign language to BV.

“Foreign language is an intellectual elective,” Lemons said. “We want to show the students that it is fun to speak another language.”

 Lemons, and other foreign language teachers working on the play, translated the script themselves.

“I bought a book of fairy tales to help with the translation,” Lemons said.

Snow White will only be put on for Blue Valley Middle School, after Prairie Star declined to have the play. 

A major concern from the beginning was how much the audience would understand.

“They know the story and we also have a chart that describes the scene and sets it up,” Lemons said.

Being very physical and theatrical is an important part to showcasing the play, described sophomore Mollie Chesis

Chesis plays Snow White for the French section.

“It is expressive and obvious in what we are saying and we have to gesture for everything,” Chesis said.

Snow White flows between three different languages by using three different narrators.

“The narrators set up each scene in the language and we are hoping to use a spotlight to make the play flow,” Lemons said.

Stone said she loves the differences in the way everyone speaks.

“Spanish is full of emotion and love, French sounds like a musical, and Latin just makes you want to listen. It’s so cool,” Stone said.

The production had tough beginnings due to the language barrier.

“Transitions were rough,” Stone said. “I didn’t know where my cue was because I didn’t know what anyone else was saying. We are getting much smoother.”

Getting out of the classroom has been a great experience for Megee.

“In the classroom you hear one language but in the play you hear everything,” she said.

Language is also a source of passion for the actors.

“It is good to see other people being so passionate about their language,” Chesis said. “I was impressed.”

The show changed Chesis’s personal view on French.

“It is a really fun way to think about your language,” she said. “It is actually a language, and I’m actually getting to be a part of it.”

by Sam Brennan