Kids write, direct, and score musicals at Murrow High School

Sing sing: The senior-freshmen team puts on its student-written and run musical production at Murrow’s annual SING! competition on Feb. 2.
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Those kids can sing — and write their own musicals.

The talented youth at Midwood’s Edward R. Murrow High School put on their own musical productions for the second year in a row as part of a school-wide competition that challenges the teens to write, direct, and score their own musicals.

The teacher in charge of the event says all she needs to do is clap and watch.

“Sometimes, they bring some issues to our attention, but they really do it all their own,” said Barbara Shapiro, a language teacher at the school who supervises SING!, as the event is called. “It’s very impressive. Sometimes the kids are working so hard they don’t even realize how much they put into it.”

The competition breaks the school into two teams: one of freshmen and seniors, and the other of juniors and sophomores.

Teachers select scriptwriters in June, and the students spend much of the summer and fall honing the scripts and writing the lyrics and music.

The school holds auditions for the parts in each play in December, and after that, it’s hustle time until the shows are put on by the student troupes, face-to-face in February.

Students can audition for any part, and are in charge of every aspect of the play’s production.

The junior-sophomore team took home the victory this year with a musical about a Broadway performer clashing with her peers on the road to stardom, giving each team a win in the two years the competition has been in existence.

It’s just another creative notch for the arts-centric high school, which boasts an award-winning band, a renowned theater program, and alumni like Beastie Boy Adam Yauch and up and coming rapper Joey Bada$$.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. Follow him at
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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