For nearly 25 years, Rickards High School has offered its students a unique opportunity to study through the International Baccalaureate Program. This rigorous curriculum is designed for academically motivated students of different linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds. Rickards students and their parents come from 51 different countries and 39 different languages are spoken in their homes. It’s no wonder that this rich diversity is celebrated annually with a school-wide production called Pangaea.
Though there have been several supercontinents during Earth’s geological history, the most recent is Pangaea which incorporated almost all the landmasses on the planet. More than 200 million years ago, the action of plate tectonics began to slowly break Pangaea apart, rearranging the pieces into what we now recognize as our world. Using the unified supercontinent as a source of inspiration, Rickards students produce a varied, energetic, and action-packed event to an audience of more than 500 supporters.
The planning for this year’s Pangaea performance began as soon as last year’s ended. With 17 different acts and more than 100 performers, it would be safe to assume that a professional was overseeing the production or, at the very least, a faculty member was taking an active directorial role. In fact, the event from start to finish was student driven. Twelfth-graders Zayn Ahmed and Saniya Pradhan were eager to accept the challenge.
“It’s basically completely student run,” explains Saniya who served as the stage director. “I am obviously biased but I think it’s the best thing that Rickards does. There’s just a lot of passion and a lot of hard work and I think that people can really appreciate that and see it in the show.”
Zayn was the technical director and he has a family history with the show. “My older brother was in charge of Pangaea. When I was in seventh or eighth grade, I sat in the back of the booth in a chair, just watching them get everything ready. I felt really interested and it opened my eyes about what’s really out there in Tallahassee. That a high school would have this event was really cool.”
Students exhibited their talents in a variety of art forms including salsa dancing, video production, Bollywood dancing, stage combat, guitar, singing, modeling traditional and regional folk costumes from dozens of countries, and playing the guzheng, a Chinese string instrument with more than 2,500 years of history. Rickards students were also joined by a number of alumni, students from other schools, and community members.
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