St. John Valley

Students bring Shakespeare to the stage, sort of

Fort Kent Elementary School sixth-grader Mire Kelly presents Children’s Stage Adventures actor Morgan Swan with gifts from The County following a performance at Fox Auditorium on Friday, June 9. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

FORT KENT, Maine — Maine School Administrative District No. 27 sixth-graders spent the last week of their elementary school days preparing for the play “Shakespeare’s Midsummer Dream,”  which they performed for two audiences on Friday, June 9.

The Children’s Stage Adventures theater program based out of New Hampshire wrote the play, a musical adaptation of the comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare. The director/actors from the non-profit program, Morgan Swan and Eric Monzel, spent the week in northern Maine training the 58 children for their performances.

“It was pretty cool that they came all the way over here to teach us the play and it was a really good play,” said sixth-grader Keegan Cyr, who played the role of Duke Theseus.

This is the third year district students have participated in the Children’s Stage Adventures program.

Gifted and talented educator Jamie Pelletier coordinated the event with the assistance of district sixth-grade teachers Deborah Gendreau, Elaine Desjardins and Loriann Levesque..

“With budget restraints over the last decade or so we’ve been exploring taking advantage of these opportunities because the first programs to go are your drama and your music,” Pelletier said.

Student Mira Kelly played the part of a mischievous woodland sprite named Puck in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Dream. She also recently participated in an after-school theater program which Director Caryn Cleveland-Short taught at Fort Kent Elementary School.

Kelly said participating in that program helped prepare her for the CSA play.

“I learned like how to make your voice boom out to the audience,” she said. Kelly added that she enjoyed working on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Dream.

“The Children’s Stage Adventures are always so happy with you. They’re so fun; they make it fun,” she said.

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