Binns’ sixth graders teach A.G. Richardson kindergartners life lessons


Floyd T. Binns’ sixth grade drama students took A.G. Richardson kindergartners on a trip to China Wednesday

There were no passports needed, as the students used their imagination and the venerable acting skills of the sixth-graders to transport them away.

The middle schoolers put on an adaption of Nightingale, adapted by Rita Grauer, John Urquhart and the Yellow Brick Road Shows.

Directed by drama teacher Deb Edwards, the sixth graders taught the kindergartners the valuable lesson that you shouldn’t always think of yourself.

Lily Watkins performed as the Emperor, a character who has the nicest robes, flowers and goldfish in the world. However, she wants more and continually puts her servants (Reese Detwiler and Addison March) through an emotional rollercoaster as she insists on bigger and better possessions.

The sixth graders utilized the talents of the kindergarten students as well, using them for sound effects and as members of the band who play the most beautiful music for the emperor. But it’s not enough for the emperor and she continues to push her people away as she insists on having the best and most beautiful music.

That’s where the Nightingale comes into play. Operated by Chase Corbin, the Nightingale’s song enchants the emperor but she locks it away so only she can hear it. When she tries to share it with the people of China, it doesn’t sing and it’s song is stifled.

After hearing from the Ancient Oriental Gods (Jason Komar and Alyssa Price), the emperor is visited by Darkness (Haley Sanchez) who convinces her to open her heart.

“She saw there was no love in her heart, and the Nightingale was free to sing again,” Detwiler said.

Edwards thanked the kindergarten students, A.G. principal Sue Bridges, Binns principal Nathan Bopp, kindergarten teacher Mary DeJarnette for coordinating the event and A.G. music teacher Chris Gibson and A.G. assistant principal Brock Hodgson for helping set up.

“I’m so proud of you,” Edwards said to the sixth graders following the presentation. “You guys almost brought me to tears.”

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Jeff Say is the editor for the Culpeper Times. He can be reached at