PK Yonge is combining the arts with science research in their spring musical

Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 11:36 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - High school students in the PK Yonge drama department are highlighting brain development during their spring 2022 musical, Little Shop of Horrors.

Researchers at UF Health say the various audio and visual components that the musical provides, creates a true brain connection.

“It really is magic for the brain” said neuropsychologist, Catherine Price.

Lead actor of the show, Neo Geiger, was in speech therapy classes at a young age but his experience on stage made him more confident speaking.

“I think one of the primary thing I use it as is a language” said Geiger.

The drama student says he began acting in fifth grade and it has impacted how he communicates with others ever since.

“I don’t use a lot of words when I talk so I use art to talk with other people and give a window into who I am” said Geiger.

One neuropsychologist says performing arts does not only impact the performers brains but also ones of audience members.

“It is not on a narrow screen. Its multi-dimensional. You have to figure out the plot, you have to have auditory components. It is a whole brain phenomenon.” said Price.

The director of the musical says this show was best fit for her students because of the range of vocal styles, roles and challenges.

“When you see this live in front of you on stage it is absolutely thrilling” said Rachel Snyder.

She is proud to collaborate with UF Health to bring exposure to brain development in children and adults.

“We really, really cant say enough how important arts and culture are and how important brain development and brain health is” said Snyder.

If you are looking for a mind exercise, the last show will be tomorrow night and it is open to the public.

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