Central Florida School Creates Show Inspired by Publix Founder - NBC 6 South Florida

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Central Florida School Creates Show Inspired by Publix Founder

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    NEWSLETTERS

    School Creates Musical Inspired by Publix Founder

    Harrison School for the Arts in Lakeland debuted a play this year centered around the life of George Jenkins - who created an empire that Floridans defend to this day.

    (Published Friday, May 4, 2018)

    What to Know

    • A high school in Central Florida combined their love for musical theatre with love for a Sunshine State icon – Publix Supermarkets.

    • “When You Dream”, a 30-minute show was written by the school’s principal, Dr. Daryl Ward, and performed for the first time in January.

    • Props including shopping carts, aprons and other items are used by the school, which is located several miles from the company’s offices.

    A high school in Central Florida combined their love for musical theatre with love for a Sunshine State icon – Publix Supermarkets – for a recent show.

    Students at the Lois Cowles Harrison Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in Lakeland performed “When You Dream”, a 30-minute show written by the school’s principal, Dr. Daryl Ward, and performed for the first time in January and again in April.

    Ward told NBC6.com that he was approached by the city’s Chamber of Commerce about making a tribute to honor the company’s founder, George Jenkins – and decided that just creating one song would not do.

    Ward says the entire show took six months to finish, with another teacher creating the musical score – saying students appreciated doing an original production.

    While the production is not exclusively about Publix – something Ward said was the hardest part in making sure to avoid the show being an impromptu infomercial – the supermarket giant does play a prevalent role in telling the story of Jenkins, who opened the first store in 1930, while celebrating his philanthropic efforts for the area.

    Props including shopping carts, aprons and other items are used by the school, which is located several miles from the company’s corporate headquarters. Publix currently has almost 1,200 stores across seven states in the southeast.

    Ward said there are no definitive plans to do the show again at the school or on the road, although he has been approached about that.

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