Students with Talent: Obama Drama’s 2nd Annual Talent Showcase


Maya Lapp, Senior Reporter

Tuesday night Obama Academy’s auditorium was the sight of the second annual Talent Showcase, displaying singing, dancing, rapping, spoken word and instrumental music from some of the school’s most gifted students in both high school and middle school. Like last year’s show, the emcees of the ceremonies were senior Jourdan Griffin and junior Antoine Stribling and just like last year, their clever banter tied the show together. The emcees helped transition from one act to the next, segueing smoothly between the serious and the humorous while also adding comic relief. The theme of this year’s Talent Showcase was “We’re all in this together”, and it both began and ended with the entire ensemble singing onstage.

I would love to discuss all of the night’s acts, because each was a reflection of the multifaceted talents of the school; however, such an article would overstay its welcome, so I will focus on capturing a few of the many different types of talents that were on display.

Much of the Talent Showcase focused on singing and dancing. At one point Justin Hartberg represented the middle school by rapping “Shell Shocked” (with backup singers), and later on a group of six high school dancers executed a complex choreography to “House Party”. Imani Chisom, the Green Girl in last year’s musical Shout!, sang multiple numbers, including a song she wrote herself called “Day Dream”, a beautiful with a moving melody.

Senior Kofi Kan Kam danced to the dubstep song “Firebird”, performing a type of dance called “popping” that was incredible to watch. When talking to him the morning of the show, he told me every time he danced in rehearsal, the moves were a little different. All improv. Obama’s own steel band performed “Hotline Bling”. This was one of my favorite acts of the show, although my opinion may have been influenced by the fact that I am a former steel band player myself, and when I heard them begin to play I was dying to join them onstage.  

The Talent Showcase also included several Spoken Word pieces with a more somber tone. First was a piece called “My Story” which was performed by Aliaijah Smith which focused on her harsh childhood but ended by in a statement of confidence that she had overcome her adversity. Another Spoken Word segment called “America” was presented jointly by seniors Raiell Trammell and Langston Brentley. It was an extremely powerful piece about Black Lives Matter that left the audience crying their support as the pair spoke their final lines.

Bryce Chisom, the Yellow Girl in Shout!, finished the show with a grand finale by singing “You Put a Move on My Heart”. Her strong and beautiful voice had the crowd on its feet by the end, and it was truly the perfect way to bring the show to its final, full-cast performance of “We’re All in this Together”.

Like all Obama Drama productions, the Second Annual Talent Showcase was a joy to watch, and I’m disappointed I won’t be around to watch next years! The drama department’s next event is the One Act Plays, so be sure to come out to watch on December 18th!