When reading a book, the characters come alive in the imagination, but what if the characters came alive in reality?
Several junior high school students and Big Park Community School will show what it would be like when they perform their play, “Miss Book’s Incredible Storybook,” on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m. in school’s multipurpose room.
The play is adapted from the book “Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook” written by Michael Garland. Students from Big Park’s Junior High Accelerated Learner Program adapted and wrote the play for their peers to perform, the program and drama teacher Sonia Feldtkeller said.
The play begins with Zack, played by Michael Travaglia, certain second grade will be boring, until he meets his interesting new teacher, Miss Book, who has a knack for telling incredible tales.
Miss Book reads to her class from an incredible book from which the characters spring to life. After the story ends, they slip back into the book’s pages.
However, one day the teacher is running late and the children begin reading from the book, snatching it from one another before the story ends.
“The characters keep coming out because the teacher is gone and there’s no one finishing
the stories,” the young thespians’ teacher and director Feldtkeller said.
As more and more characters appear, the stage [classroom] becomes crowded. Attend the play to see how the chaos ends.
As the junior high school students moved to their places across and around the stage reciting lines Tuesday, Oct. 19, Feldtkeller gave them cues and directions, holding a copy of the script.
“There’s about a third of the junior high invested in this play. They either wrote it or they’re in it. Some were involved in the writing and are acting,” Feldtkeller said.
The cast is large with nearly 20 students having parts, and each has his or her own reason for wanting to portray a character.
“I like pretending I’m someone else and do it for others to enjoy,” said Annie Parella, who plays the part of Billie.
Travaglia said he likes to be the center of attention.
“I soak up the spotlight,” he said, and spread his arms and took a low bow.
Valerie Luyckx, as Sue Ann, likes to perform on stage and have fun with all of her friends. Michaela Cunningham, who plays Captain Kirk, likes to show her silly side, while Lilly Davis, who is the Princess, thinks acting is a “really good stress reliever.”
“I like the part where you can embarrass yourself in front of the whole school,” Eddie Parrella said. He plays the part of Freddie.
Other cast members include Kayla Walker, Jessica Kirkham, Lauren Hoyer, Emily Aitken, Catherine Chapman, Stefan Zielinski, Brooke Drysdale, Jennie Harlan, Daisy Jacobsen, Yeseeiri Guzman, Wendy Dudley, Emily Aitken, Lauren Hoyer, Sophie Gorschboth, Jennie Harlan, Stefan Zielinski and Jon Ackley.
As with most activities in school, the play has educational objectives. It allows the students to distinguish between reality and fantasy, helps them develop verbal expressive and descriptive language skills through analyzing the author’s illustrations, and helps them develop confidence in creative dramatic presentation.
The students will present the play to their peers, and students and teachers in the elementary grades the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 28. The evening performance is for parents and the public.
For more information, call the school at 204-6500.