“Aida” will be performed at Cooper Middle School starting today.
“This is nothing the middle school has done before.”
-- Kaitlyn O’Conor, playing Aida
It’s the timeless story of star-crossed lovers - with a twist.
Cooper Middle School is performing “Aida,” the story of a deep love stirring in the midst of a war between two nations, starting today.
“The music’s excellent and it’s a beautiful show,” said theater arts teacher and play director Meg Baber. “I love the drama of it and how meaningful it is. And I do like to keep challenging them. I don’t want to make it too easy.”
The story follows Aida - an enslaved Nubian princess as she falls in love with Radames - an Egyptian soldier already promised to the Pharaoh’s daughter.
“As their forbidden love blossoms, Aida is forced to weigh her heart against the responsibility she faces as leader of her people,” Baber said in an email. “Aida and Radames' love for one another proves transcendent of cultural differences and ushers in a time of unprecedented peace between the warring nations.”
She said it is a very mature, challenging play for the middle school age group, but believes that many of the actors are talented enough to handle it. About 70 people are a part of the show’s cast and crew.
“It’s a very hard show, musically,” she said. “There’s one school in the county that has done it at the middle school level. We have some really, really talented kids this year, so I kinda knew it would be the year to do it.”
Chris Obolensky, 14, plays Radames.
“My dad is in the military, so it really helped because I knew how I was supposed to act,” the eighth grade actor said. “I was really surprised about how much love is in the show. It’s going to be a really fun show.”
Unlike Romeo and Juliet, he said, the lovers in Aida do not just have a shallow-level of love for one another.
“This is nothing the middle school has done before,” said 13-year-old Kaitlyn O’Conor, eighth grade.
She plays Aida, the secret Nubian princess.
“She’s a very deep character,” she said. “In the first part of the play, she wants to save her people.”
Aida then feels like she has to choose between her love for Radames or her love for her country.
“I think we’ll put on a good show,” she said.
The middle school will perform Aida on Wednesday and Thursday, April 30-May 1, at 2:30 p.m., as well as Friday and Saturday, May 2-3, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for general admission at the door.