PAF 6 Presents “Tam Lin”

A look into the behind-the-scenes of the sixth-grade Performing Arts Foundation musical

Ada Green, Co-Feature Editor

May 25 marked a great celebration for the Performing Arts Department and the class of 2029: the sixth-grade musical production of “Tam Lin.” 

Set in 1550 Scotland, “Tam Lin” is a story of courage featuring knights, a princess, fairies, and magic. Performing Arts Chair and Director Dana Caldwell chose this show to allow students to use a large-scale set, which in this case still stands in Spaulding Theater from the 7-12 spring musical, “Beauty and the Beast.” 

Their performance of “Tam Lin” represents the culmination of the sixth-graders’ two years of Performing Arts Foundations (PAF) classes.

“PAF is a team-taught, two-year-long course designed to give students the opportunity to experience a variety of performing arts mediums while learning the fundamentals of being in a performing arts class,” said Caldwell.

“Tam Lin” is a youth “cantata”—about an hour runtime with music inspired by seventeenth-century styles. The performance and their classes allowed the performers to explore not only the world of an enchanted forest, but a world of acting, singing, choreography, staging, and what it takes to put on a fully-staged production. 

“PAF 6 class times are structured like rehearsals with time designated to learn their songs, rehearse their scenes, and practice choreography for the show,” said Caldwell, “Our 6th graders are expanding their knowledge of theater terminology, performance etiquette, character development, dance, vocal technique, and music literacy through this rehearsal and production process.”

Caldwell added that the PAF curriculum is designed to prepare students for Laguna’s middle-school and upper-school theater classes and productions. Greta Alldredge, ‘29 said, “I think that being in the show was a lot of fun and prepared me a lot for being in future shows. It was a lot of hard work, but it was an amazing experience and lots of fun!”

The sixth-grade musical was also a monumental event for Laguna Theater’s middle-school tech crew. Eighth-graders Cooper Green and Shaia Engel had the opportunity to step into crew leadership roles, with Cooper running lights and Shaia running sound in their first performance controlling the technical aspects of theater from the booth.

The performance itself highlighted the professional skills the PAF 6 students have honed over the last two years in the course, with dynamic choreography, hilarious comedic timing, and heart-touching acting. Without a line missed on top of beautiful ensemble singing, the cast earned a well-deserved standing ovation during their final bows. 

“I really liked the experience of doing something for the first time,” said EJ Niksto, ‘29. “I also enjoyed the thrill of taking a bow at the end and feeling all the joy of my first production done.”

Congratulations to the cast and crew of “Tam Lin!”