The Trip of a Lifetime

After the grueling week of finals in January, a group of twenty Benet Academy students had the wonderful opportunity to go on a trip to New York City for Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Students from all grades went, and everyone had an amazing experience, none exactly the same to the other. They got to see many different attractions of the city, and were able to live a little more independently for the weekend, catching a glimpse of what their futures have to offer after Benet.

Students got to O’Hare Airport early on Friday morning for their flight. Once landed in the city, students took the bus to their hotel, dropped off their luggage, and then were off for the day, heading to the Guggenheim museum. Although exhibit space was limited due to the iconic spiral being under construction, the students got to explore many different types of art in the few rooms that were available. Then, the students were able to tour the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With so many exhibits to choose from, students were able to go off on their own in groups of three and pick what interested them the most. Among the offered exhibits was a music history exhibit, a fashion archives exhibit dedicated to the Met Ball 2020 theme, and a medieval exhibit. After touring the two museums, students got dinner and then were in for the night.

The next day, Saturday, students started off by meeting up with Benet alumni, some who were students in New York, and some who were living and working in the city. Following lunch in Rockefeller Place, the students were on their way to their first Broadway show of the trip, Moulin Rouge!. Students were able to get autographs from the actors after the show and then went to dinner. After eating dinner, the group was on their way to the second Broadway show, the revival of West Side Story. The students were able to hang by the stage door again after West Side Story, then returned to their hotel rooms for the night to be able to prepare for their busy day on Sunday.

Sunday began with students celebrating mass at St. Malachy’s Chapel, the Actor’s Chapel. Following the service, the students took the subway to the One World Trade Center Observatory and were able to see a view of New York City unlike any other. The students then had lunch at Brookfield Place and following the meal went to the moving National 9/11 Memorial & Museum. After spending a few hours at the museum, the students went back to the hotel and then had time to get dinner before going to their final Broadway show: Hadestown. The students hovered by the stagedoor following that performance as well, and then a few of them had the opportunity to go to the famous M&M Store before returning to their hotel before the final day of the trip.

On Monday, students started their final day with a workshop with one of the performers from the show Hadestown. Sophomore Grace Richards said about the experience, “It was an incredibly enriching and exciting trip and gave me the chance to explore a lively city with those who share a common interest in musical theater. My favorite part was definitely seeing all of the amazing Broadway shows and getting the opportunity to work with and speak with a member of the cast of Hadestown.” After the workshop, students got one last meal at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, with the phenomenal singing waitstaff. The meal at the exclusive eatery was the perfect way to close out the trip before heading to the airport for the last few hours of the trip before the plane ride home.

When other students were asked about the trip, such as freshman Dee Pace, she said, “The whole trip was honestly a dream come true and a great experience! I didn’t want to go home! I got closer with so many people, and I loved the amount of freedom we had too.” Junior Lucy Benish also enjoyed herself and stated, “The theatre trip to New York City was an amazing opportunity where students got to experience adventures in while also learning more about the reality of an occupation in the arts by participating in workshops and meeting Broadway performers.” It is clear to see that all ages who were able to participate had an unforgettable and extremely enjoyable experience, one with many happy memories that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.