August 11, 2020

PPAS & The Barricklos

This time of year, many kids are busy applying to middle school and high school.   We spoke with Jenna and Jonah Barricklo about what it’s like to attend a performing arts school.


Hi! It’s Jenna and Jonah here….

Thoroughly Modern Millie

What is PPAS and why did you want to go?

PPAS stands for the Professional Performing Arts School. It is a public performing arts school in Manhattan for grades 6-12. Every day, for an hour and a half, you have a performing arts class that involves either singing, dancing, acting, or music history. For the rest of the day you have regular classes like a normal middle school.

Jonah: I wanted to go to PPAS because I like performing arts and Jenna goes there.

Jenna: PPAS interested me because I wanted to have a more serious performing arts training in school. I thought it would be great to work on my skills everyday.

Were you nervous about auditioning?

Jonah: No, but I was excited.

Jenna: At first I was nervous because I had never been to a big audition before. I had only auditioned for two shows at the Y so far, so auditioning was still new to me. When I got to the audition I became more relaxed because everyone was so nice and supportive.

What did you prepare to audition and how did you prepare?

For the audition we had to perform a 1-2 minute monologue, and we also had to sing a song from a Broadway musical. Both of these things need to be memorized.

Jonah: I worked with my voice teacher, and my mom to pick a song. I practiced my song and monologue a lot at home. My family helped me a lot!

Jenna: My parents helped me to prepare for my audition. They helped me to interpret and learn my song and monologue. After that I worked on my monologue and song until I had them drilled into my mind.

Did being on stage with RRS help prep you in any way?

Jonah: The experience of being onstage in front of people definitely boosted my confidence.

Jenna: RRS helped me a lot to prepare for my audition. The only experience I had had onstage at the time was one production at the Y, so that helped my self-esteem.

What is the biggest change for you now going to PPAS?

Jonah: I now go to school with more performing arts kids, and I have more of a connection to them because we like the same things. At my old school not a lot of people liked performing arts.

Jenna: The biggest change for me is the commute! I used to wake up at 7:00. I now have to wake up at 6:00. I also used to walk to school everyday, which took about 10-15 minutes. Now, my mom drives me to school, which can take 20-45 minutes. I get a lot less sleep now!

What is your favorite class so far?

Jonah: I don’t have a favorite performing arts class because they are all so much fun! My favorite academic class is Science with Joe, my core teacher, because he describes things in full detail.

Jenna: My favorite class, hmmmm. That’s hard to choose! They are all so much fun. If I had to choose, I would say dance is the most fun of all of my performing arts classes because I get to express myself while being in school! My favorite academic class this year is Humanities because I really like my teacher.


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