Garrison Eighth Graders Celebrate Dead Authors Day

Garrison students celebrate great writing. (Photo courtesy Garrison School)

Garrison students celebrate great writing. (Photo courtesy Garrison School)

For the past eight years, the courtyard at the Garrison School has been transformed into a graveyard to celebrate “Dead Authors’ Day,” the day when eighth grade English students, under the direction of Ian Berger, eighth grade English Language Arts (ELA) teacher, present stories by great literary figures of the past to the rest of the school.

On Thursday, Oct. 31, the Garrison School eighth graders celebrated Halloween in grand style, dressed up as characters from their authors’ stories to re-enact scenes from the famous works and teach the audience about the authors’ lives.

“Dead Authors’ Day is an important part of our eighth grade curriculum,” said Garrison School Principal, Stephanie Impellittiere. “The ELA component of this program is integrated with the visual arts and drama.”

This year’s Dead Authors’ Day authors and eighth grade actors included:

  • Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer presented by Yunus Solakoglu, Raymond O’Rourke as Mark Twain, Henry Driscoll and Derek Champi
  • Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage presented by Christian Mayo, Kiefer Convertino, Brian Kelly and Eddie Joe Barry
  • Jane Austin’s Emma presented by Alii Sharpley and Lucinda Strohl
  • Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde presented by Hudson Heckert, Elijah DeRoche, Josh Wimer and David Higbee;
  • Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray presented by Rose Lindbergh and Bridget Batignati
  • H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau presented by Alexandra Angelopoulis and Kristin Serrand
  • Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea presented by Gus DuPree, George Weed and Frankie Colasurdo
  • Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz presented by Desi Young, Alexa Gagnon, Kaelin Martin and Nicolette Thompson
  • Jack London’s White Fang presented by Hudson Gell, Juan Guerra, Joey Marcinak and Cameron Palikuca

Garrison School students and faculty members visited each group in the courtyard to enjoy the performances and were treated to the excellent quality of acting that has become the standard for this program.

“I liked all of the groups,” said Garrison School fifth grader Elizabeth Nelson. “After watching the performance of Mark Twain, I’m looking forward to reading Tom Sawyer.”

“That is a great example of what is so special about this event,” remarked Principal Impellittiere. “Often our younger students are inspired by the wonderful performances and they look forward to the day when they will be eighth graders and will have the opportunity to participate in the Dead Authors’ Day.”


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