History in the Making: Middle Schools Team Up to Produce First-Ever Musical

This fall, Midway and River Valley Middle School choir and theatre students showcased their passion for performing in their first-ever combined musical production, Matilda the Musical Jr.  

The production took place on Nov. 4 and 6 at the Midway High School auditorium and was the first time in Midway history the two middle schools performed together.

“With the cast and crew, there are nearly a hundred of ‘Midway’s finest’ middle school students who have come together to present this performance and keep the tradition of musical theater in MISD alive,” Midway ISD Fine Arts Director Darrell Umhoefer said.

The play follows Matilda, played by Lieve Oudshoorn, as she navigates a new school and unsupportive parents: Mr. Wormwood, played by Liam Watwood, and Mrs. Wormwood, played by Hope Whatley. At school, Matilda is faced with a mean headmistress Agatha Trunchbull, played by Jeremiah Key, but finds a friend and mentor in her teacher Miss Honey, played by Ashlyn LaStrape. 

“The process of working on this musical was truly inspiring,” Director and Choreographer Alicia Danforth said. “It was a wonderful experience to get to see students from both campuses come together and make magic happen on stage.”

The idea for this production came from the desire to bring theater departments from both middle schools together and foster relationships before students will be together on the same campus at Midway High School. Technical Director Katelyn Smith said through the process of preparing the musical, they did just that.

“We made history by starting something new,” Smith said. “I can’t wait to see what is to come for MISD Fine Arts as we can only go up from here.” 

Congratulations to all the students and staff who made this musical possible!

You can view the program here.