Our day started bright and early with our musical class at the university. We have exactly five days until the West Side Story musical goes live in Durban, so we didn’t waste any time touring the campus, but instead got right to work.
Prior to arriving in Durban, my classmates and I had 10 days of classes at the SMU campus, where from 8 to 10 a.m. we were in our Literature Cultural Formation Class and in the African Diaspora, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. we did music and dance rehearsal. Now, we have to teach the students here what we learned, and they have to teach us what they learned.
There are eight of us from SMU, and most of the students are either music or dance majors. I am the only one of the group without any music or dance experience, so I gladly accepted the role of assistant stage manager. When you are trying to coach over 50 students in less than a week, you need all the assistance you can get, so my role is both needed and appreciated. I was quite busy the first day, but enjoyed assisting the production. I get to spend a lot of time watching the performances, and seeing SMU students work with Cape Town and Durban students is just absolutely remarkable.
There are not a lot of abroad programs that integrate with other foreign students on the same level this class does. Lead by SMU’s music professor Barbara Hill-Moore, and music professor Millicent Johnnie, the West Side Story music production works with dancer professors and students from the University of Cape Town and University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Day two concluded with a lot of hard work and much productivity. As we were leaving campus and heading back to the Pastoral center, I saw the cute monkeys, and of course had to include a picture of one!