All posts by Kathryn Schmidt

Call for volunteers (desperately needed)!

Hello NIMH families,

I have received a request from a parent to share our volunteer sign-up link with you. NIMH’s parent volunteer team is working with a bare-bones crew to complete the huge amount of work before and during the performances for the remainder of this week and they are in desperate need of more volunteers to make the process run as smoothly as possible. Bell School truly thrives because of the generosity of its amazing parents and families, and the show simply cannot happen without enough volunteers behind the scenes. The students and production team have worked so hard for months to make this show a success, and they need all hands on deck for the home stretch of this process. Please consider donating a couple hours of your time tomorrow, Friday, and/or Saturday to assist our incredible group of students and their families with what I’m sure is going to be an outstanding performance!

There are approximately 20 volunteer “spots” available to assist with ticket booth sales at the door of the performances, and backstage assistance and supervision during every in-school and public performance. The link is below, and all you have to do is enter your e-mail in order to volunteer. For questions or more information, contact Claire Sutton at

Click HERE to volunteer at!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Ms. Schmidt 🙂


Better late than never…

Thanks to all for your unparalleled patience in this! Without further ado, here is the video footage of This Bell Life! 🙂

This Bell Life Part One
This Bell Life Part Two

(These videos are “unlisted” on YouTube, which means only those with the link are able to view them. Thanks a million to Anne Richter and Dwight Irwin for their videography and also to Anne for her incredible work editing this footage!)


This Bell Life cast & crew party Friday, June 2nd

Hello everyone! Just wanted to confirm details for our party this Friday:

This Bell Life cast & crew party
Friday, June 2nd
In the 3rd floor gym
Refreshments from Bell’s approved snack list will be provided!

Please RSVP (accepts AND regrets) to me at as soon as possible.

Hope to see you there…we can’t wait to party one last time with everyone!

Save the date for our cast and crew party!

HELLO everyone! It’s certainly been a while, but now that Neverbird’s Pinocchio has wrapped and the directors all have our lives back (for now!), we’d like to try to hold that long-overdue cast and crew party to celebrate an awesome production of This Bell Life! In order to avoid conflicts with the 8th grade D.C. trip and other end-of-the-year festivities, we’d like to plan our party for next Friday, June 2nd, so save the date!

Our question to all our families is whether anyone who had previously offered to host and/or sponsor our party is still willing to do so? We have held parties at Bell families’ houses in the past and it’s always a bit more fun than partying at Bell School. If you are willing to host and/or sponsor refreshments, please e-mail me at – we would be so grateful! If there aren’t any takers, we’ll hold the party after school at Bell next Friday (which will still be super fun!). I will distribute final details to everyone before the end of this week.

DVD update: Anne Richter, our parent volunteer, is working hard on editing our show’s DVD and will have it ready as soon as possible. We’ll inform everyone as soon as it’s ready!

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

Cast/crew party update

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let everyone know that we do not yet have a date set for our cast and crew party because Katy and Levi (and Ms. Lambert and I) are very busy every day with rehearsals for Neverbird Project’s production of Pinocchio at Chicago Children’s Theatre. Rehearsals will continue until after spring break, so come mid-April, we’ll be able to plan the party and let you know all the details. Thanks for your patience – we can’t wait to party with everyone one last time!

P.S. More info about Pinocchio here! 🙂


Bravo and congratulations to all of our cast, crew, student production team, and families on a fantastic run of This Bell Life! We couldn’t be prouder of the way everyone and everything came together to celebrate our incredibly special school community. Hopefully everyone has caught up on their rest today and is ready to get back to the real world tomorrow!

One more gigantic thank you to everyone who took time to volunteer for this production during the last couple months and in the previous few days. Every bit of help, no matter great or small, is crucial in making our show a success and every year we’re humbled by the help and kindness given to us by our play families. By the final show, we were running like a well-oiled machine and I’m so impressed and grateful at the way Bell’s students and their families can make magic like this happen.

If you’re interested in helping us out one last time, parent volunteers Frank and Nathalie will be at Bell around 5:00pm on Monday the 6th to strike our set and get the stage back to normal. The more hands we have on deck, the faster this process will go! Sign up for the spot here (and bring a drill if you have one!). Thank you!

Also – don’t forget that all t-shirt orders are due this Friday, March 10th. Click here for the This Bell Life t-shirt order form!

More information will come in the next couple of weeks about the cast/crew party, DVD orders, and more. It’s hard to believe we don’t have rehearsal tomorrow, but we’ll still have at least one more day all together to celebrate one last time! Once again, thanks for being a part of This Bell Life with us. ♥

A few notes about Thursday…

…It’s our big day! Everybody is tired but hopefully excited, too! Just a few reminders for our rehearsals and shows tomorrow:

All cast and crew are called to the auditorium from 9:15am-11:15am. (Come to school as normal and go to your first hour of classes.) Our plan is to try to run the show (not a full dress rehearsal), go over some notes, clean up a few things, etc., before the afternoon school performance.

EVERYONE is going to eat lunch and have recess during the 11:15am-12:00pm lunch period. PLEASE BRING A BAG LUNCH. As soon as lunch is over at noon, all kids are called back to the auditorium to prepare for our first school performance. We need to schedule the dressing room/hair and makeup station in shifts: All kids who need a mic check at the top of the show (the first narrators, the first several Attic Kids, etc.) should get in costume and hair/makeup first. Once the dressing room is mostly clear, the 1917 narrators and all students who are in “Have a Little Faith in Me” can prepare for the show, followed by all kids who are in Pep Rally and later numbers.

Our show is scheduled to start at 1:30 and MUST end by 3:00, whether we are finished or not. (Our approximate run time right now is 75 minutes, so barring any major crises, this should not be a problem.) Remember that school is still in session during this time, so no cell phones, running around in the hallways, etc.

Students should then head home at 3:15 as they normally do – there will be no after-school supervision for students between 3:15pm and 5:30pm. Go home, freshen up, eat dinner, and come back to get ready for our first public show!

We’d like to go over notes with students promptly at 5:30 and then prepare for the top of the show, which starts at 7:00pm. By this time we will have run the show at least twice in its entirety, so it should be a piece of cake! 🙂

Remember that it’s very important to stay quiet backstage because the audience can hear you from inside the auditorium! Students should always be aware of what numbers are coming up next and where they’re supposed to be and when. Snacks are allowed backstage but NOT in the library. No students except lights crew should be on the balcony (except during transitions between songs when necessary). All crew members should stay with their crew in their assigned area. ALL students should listen to and respect all adults backstage as well as student production team members. Pick up all your costumes, belongings, garbage, etc. before you leave!!

If you have any questions about procedures, logistics, etc., don’t hesitate to shoot me an e-mail or see me or another production team member while we’re running around tomorrow! Thanks to all the volunteers who helped out today, to everyone scheduled to help out the next few days, and to all of you for your support and flexibility during tech week. BREAK A LEG TOMORROW!! #thisbelllife

Housekeeping items

A clarification – any students in the “Feeling Good” number should make sure they have BLACK shoes, whether for tap, jazz, or signing. As soon as you are able, please make sure to wear the shoes you plan to wear in the show during our runs. Practicing in the type of shoe you’ll be performing is very important in order to get used to walking around the stage and to alter your body language and movements appropriately.

Students should have brought their costumes in today. Please do so if you have not already. Tomorrow we will work on organizing the dressing room and labeling everyone’s costumes in preparation for our dress rehearsal on Wednesday.

There is a small mistake on the tech week schedule. Students are NOT required to bring a bag lunch on Wednesday – they only need to do so on Thursday due to the modified lunch schedule.

All students should please remember not to use cell phones during rehearsal and that eating in the auditorium is NOT permitted. All actors and crew should also be actively attending to the rehearsal happening onstage and stay quiet while the directors are working with students to ensure that we can make the most of our limited time together.

Day 1 of tech week is down…only three days until our show! We hope you’re getting excited!!