Challenging The Potential of Each Student: The Medicine Man and Our Fine Arts Department

From the desk of Rod Fletcher, Headmaster:

I hope that all of you had a chance to attend Brook Hill’s 16th annual dinner theater production of The Medicine Man two weeks ago.   I did and I loved it – the acting was top notch, the food was delicious, and I laughed non-stop!  As I attend the many fine arts events at Brook Hill I am impressed with the performances, the costuming, the quality, the commitment of the students and the teachers, the talent and the skill.  But what I am impressed with most is the degree to which Brook Hill teachers and instructors are able to truly stretch the students and bring things out of them that, truth be known, none of us would have thought they had in them.  The Brook Hill fine arts performances are a great example of teachers “affirming the gifts and challenging the potential of each student” – a pillar of the Brook Hill mission statement.

As the Headmaster those things mean a lot to me.  We work very hard to impact the lives of students and to see our fine arts department doing just that is very gratifying.  It is also very gratifying to know that others notice the impact we are making and appreciate it.  I recently received an email from James and Lisa Chambless describing their view of this production.  Their email was a huge encouragement to me and I think it will be to you as well.

Dear Mr. Fletcher,

Mrs. Chambless and I would like to thank you for the privilege of sponsoring The Medicine Man. It was a remarkable and wonderful weekend. We want to extend our thanks and appreciation to everyone who participated in making every performance and every meal such a success.

A special thanks to Mr. Ballard. We have attended his productions for over ten years now. I keep thinking that someday I will stop being amazed at his consistent ability to take a unique collection of our children and direct them into being a group that is capable of performing at a level neither they nor we thought they were capable of achieving. He has a talent for casting and directing and teaching, obviously, but I believe his greatest gift is the ability to look at any child and see the potential success that lies within them and the pathways to draw it out. We are thankful he uses this gift to honor the Lord, build up our children and bring joy to so many with the results.

The set and costuming were amazing. They always are. One of my favorite memories of this adventure though, was watching “Miss Rebecca” sewing the hem of a dress while the actress was wearing it and eating a sandwich just before taking the stage. I always have known that a great deal of work went into these aspects of Brook Hill plays, but I had never seen the grace and adaptability with which it all happens. Thank you.

We serve a God of order and I firmly believe that the ability to organize well is a spiritual gift. The drama department and the SOFA team has and uses that gift well. The marketing, play bills, ticket sales, seating, table decorations, food planning, preparation, presentation and the excellent service were all outstanding. We attended all three performances at Brook Hill and heard lots of praise for the meal as well as the performance. Thank you to everyone who had a part in making it such a success.

As I have said before, in my wide and varied experience here at Brook Hill, there is nothing that draws a group of students together and forms them into a team in a more inclusive and powerful way than these productions. The tall and the short, the plain and the vibrant, the talented and the awkward. All of them are allowed to fully participate and shine in their own best light. Being the parents of twins who are different in temperament as night and day, we were perhaps twice as worried as most parent’s about this show. You all found a way for both to come away feeling comfortable in the roll they played and each of them feeling as if they stole the show. They also came away with a sense of belonging and some new and strengthened friendships and a great sense of accomplishment. That is such a blessing to us.

We viewed this event from three different perspectives; Brook Hill parents, patrons of the arts and show sponsors. As parents, we are proud of the children and their work and dedication. I have told every one of them thank you in person and how proud of them I am. As patrons of the arts, we are once again impressed by the high caliber of Brook Hill’s performing arts productions. The quality of this entertainment is far above what we would expect from any school performance. As show sponsors, we are proud to have been associated with such an excellent all around effort. I grew up hearing, and my sons have grown up hearing, that everything you do in life reflects on your family name. The Chambless family is proud to have had our name listed along with the others for 2014 dinner theater. It has been an honor and a privilege and we are grateful to you all.


James and Lisa Chambless

Here are some photos from the event. For more, you can view our album on Facebook here:

MedicineMan(TA)-3 MedicineMan(TA)-5 MedicineMan(TA)-6 MedicineMan(TA)-7 MedicineMan(TA)-10