Madawaska students visit ‘Bus Stop’
FORT KENT, Maine — Students from Madawaska Middle High School laughed uproariously when they witnessed a special performance of the play “Bus Stop” at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Wednesday, Feb. 15. The 35 ninth-grade students hitched a ride on a bus of their own to attend the play, along with their English teacher, Lisa Welch.
Welch said she took advantage of an invitation from Director Caryn Cleveland-Short to attend the play along with the students to foster a deeper appreciation of theater arts in the students.
“When we read plays that’s one thing but to see all the work that’s involved is another. It gives them an idea about things they could do,” Welch said. Madawaska Middle High School currently does not have a theater program, but Welch said she is hoping that in the future such a program will become available to the students, even if through partnership with other schools in the region.
Cleveland-Short said she invited the students to attend “Bus Stop” because she is aware of social and educational benefits for the students.
“Exposing children to theater early increases creativity, curiosity and confidence. Universities should foster these traits and partner with the community. UMFK is in a perfect position to do this because this community is so supportive,” she said.
Students Kobe Chasse and Lance Corbin both said they enjoyed attending “Bus Stop”. The boys said this was their first experience watching a theatrical production, with the exception of Children’s Stage Adventures productions at the elementary school level.
“I liked everything about it,” Corbin said, adding that a comedic turn in the play during which two characters reenact a scene from “Romeo and Juliet” was his favorite part.
“That was pretty good,” he said. “I love going to see plays.”
“I thought it was good; it was really good. I liked the acting,” said Chasse. “I liked the set. It looked nice.”
Technical Director of the play, Aaron Bernstein designed and built the set, with help from student crew members.
“The set is composed of key elements to evoke a 1950’s diner without being as detailed or utilitarian as an actual diner,” Bernstein said. “The set is built and decorated with common, inexpensive materials from SW Collins. It is designed to be safe and stable, but also to come apart quickly and easily, with certain pieces to be put aside for use in other shows.”
Steven Daigle provided stenciled lettering for the set background.
“Bus Stop” will play at the Fox Auditorium Friday and Saturday, February 17-18 at 7 p.m. with a special matinee performance on Saturday at 1 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the University Relations office at 207-834-7557 and will also be available at the door. Tickets are $10 each and admission is free for UMFK students.
Actors include: Alexandra Lynch, Janacie Klinger, George Safonov, Katrina Walls, Max Jandreau, Sam Levasseur, John Kilcollins and Adam Wilcox.
Crew members are: Elysia Wilson, Kala Grant, Allencia Smith, Cassidy Mosher Alexis Wilson, John Rochester, Skyler Bernstein and Scott Voisine.
The director thanks Susan Tardie, Walker’s Pub, and Steven Daigle for their help.