SPRING HILL — Wider Horizons School students will present their annual "Friday Night Live" program this week. They have been preparing dances, skits and songs in preparation for the show to be held at Springstead High School Theater at 7 p.m.
Everyone from prekindergarten students to seniors will be part of an act.
"We never did the play where you have stars," said Julie Maglio, who co-owns and co-directs the school with her husband, Dr. Domenick Maglio. "Everybody's on stage at one time or another."
That means the school's 160 students have been creating, learning and practicing their parts. The purpose of the event, Maglio said, is "to teach the children public speaking poise in a stressful situation. It's a creative theater experience."
The acts include a fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade dance about Henry Ford, a high school production called Website Story, choreographed by sophomore Sabrina Jerrels, 14, and a fourth-grade story about West-settling pioneers, complete with a fiddler.
That particular presentation has been a motivation for the fourth-graders to practice their memorization skills while learning the preamble to the U.S. Constitution.
Fourth-grader Taylor Blacklidge, 10, has been at Wider Horizons since prekindergarten. She said this year's show helped her "learn how the pioneers went to Oregon and how to square dance (and) get a little bit more confidence."
Classmate Nika Gorski, 9, has also been at the school since she was a prekindergartener. She has been taking fiddle lessons for a couple of years, too. "I know quite a few songs," she said. "I am stage experienced."
Nika placed third in a fiddle contest at the Old Time Music Festival held in Tampa in April. She also plays at Chinsegut Nature Center for Pioneer Day.
Some version of "Friday Night Live," Maglio said, has been an annual event for Wider Horizons students for 27 years.
Tickets cost $12 for adults and $3 for children.