On Apr. 3, Mr. Nilsson and several members of the Deerfield faculty wowed the school by performing a musical that captured the quintessence of Deerfield studenthood. The musical, which was performed during school meeting, was kept secret from the community for over five months.
The cast first gathered in secret in early November, when Mr. Nilsson divulged his plan to certain members of the community. Over the course of the school year, the cast met to practice choreography and record a soundtrack. In the end, despite only having two dress rehearsals, the cast exceeded all expectations by presenting the school with a beautifully executed performance.
When asked about his reaction, Spencer Hurst ’20 had only the highest praise. In his own words, “I loved it when Mr. Chapin started ‘boolin’’ on the dance floor.”
Hurst was not alone in this sentiment. Each time a faculty dropped bars or whipped out dance moves, the whole school erupted into cheer. As a matter of fact, some lines of the play were missed, as they were muffed by all the screaming.
Students were also excited to see some of their favorite teachers on stage. Mason Zhao ’20 took a special liking to Dr. Thomas’s rap. He said, “She was so smooth with her rap. I wish she taught my Chemistry class like that.”
Overall, it appears the community greatly appreciated the musical. More than anything, the school was proud of how much effort the teachers were willing to commit to such an immense task beyond the incredible amount of time they already devote to the community.
Adam Sussbauer ’20 commented on the matter, saying, “One thing that really sets Deerfield apart is the willingness of the teachers and community as a whole to let loose a little bit and be seen outside of their normal element.”
However, despite all of Mr. Chapin’s dance floor “boolin’” and Dr. Thomas’s knowledge-dropping, the musical did miss some important points in capturing the true Deerfield experience.
As actor Micajah Stude ’19 commented, “The general plot was accurate but it totally simplified the ‘scheme’ culture at Deerfield.”
As much as we all wish our schemes were as simple as love at first sight, like Ms. Lareau and Mr. Grimm exhibited, we all know schemes aren’t so simple — there is much more DM sliding and Snapchat quick adding involved.
Furthermore, the musical seemed to be underclassmen-oriented. There was no reminders of upperclassmen, no study hall freedom, or late night library shenanigans commonly attributed to Senior Spring.
Nevertheless, the musical did an astounding job of capturing the essence of the Deerfield experience and the first-day nerves that every Deerfield student has felt. This play reminds us that at Deerfield, there are ambitious students like Mr. DeMartino, great proctors like Mr. Watson, thoughtful students like Dr. Thomas, and punny teachers like Mr. Ahbel.
Furthermore, as Ms. Lareau and Mr. Grimm showed us, at Deerfield, there are plenty of opportunities to try new things, as fearful as they may be. Mr. Nilsson’s Deerfield Story was a magical, musical representation of the Deerfield experience, and it reminds students that Deerfield isn’t so bad after all.