In her 20's, she pioneered investigative journalism and traveled the world in 72 days. Nellie Bly deserves a musical! So, the students of Wholistic Learning Resources of Davis in Davis, CA, performed one on the last day of their 10-week Fall term.
The students gave a heart-warming, rousing performance of The World of Nellie Bly, a musical written and directed by Rick and Jennifer Tan, teachers at Davis WLR. The husband and wife team had previously offered two separate classes, music and drama. With an overwhelming interest by the students, the Tans joined their talents to create a musical theater class!
In a twenty minute stage performance with four original songs, the students, ages 6 through 14, gave their family and friends a peek into the life of Nellie Bly. Born Elizabeth Cochran in 1864, she was a young child taught to seek the truth by her father, who was a landowner and judge of the town named after him, Cochran's Mills, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth eventually moved to Pittsburgh, where her writing skills earned her a job as a reporter with the Pittsburgh Dispatch. The owner and publisher George Madden gave Elizabeth the pen name Nellie Bly. She then worked for Joseph Pulitzer at his newspaper The New York World. Nellie Bly gained fame and notoriety for her investigative journalism into the poor working conditions of the city, and her expose into an insane asylum. And if that was not enough, she decided to travel the world in 72 days, beating the fictional adventure in Jules Verne's book Around the World in 80 Days.
The students had a great time learning about stage direction, choral singing, and history! The cast ended the play with a fitting quote by Nellie Bly: "If you want to do it, you can do it. The question is, do you want to do it?!"