SAINT AUGUSTINE — Flagler College Theatre Arts students will be taking their craft to the classroom next week when they perform children’s theatre for nearly 300 kindergarteners across three St. Johns County schools.
The performance of Robert Munsch’s collection of acclaimed children’s stories, titled “Love You Forever and More Munsch,” adapted by Stephen Colella and Sue Miner, is part of a Theatre Arts course at Flagler, where students bring a performance to area youth. Eleven Flagler students will be performing at Ketterlinus, R.B. Hunt and Webster Elementary Schools.
“This is a great way to expose kids to theatre,” participating student Jenna Foley said. “When you’re there, in that space with them, you’re able to connect. There’s not a giant barrier. It’s a shared experience between the kids and the theatre.”
Elementary school children will have the opportunity to learn about the power of imagination, the enduring love of family and the importance of responsibility through Munsch’s popular tales.
Student Kaylyn Cast hopes to bring to the St. Augustine community the affinity she felt for such performances as a child.
“When I was a kid, people taught us messages through (theatrical) shows,” she said. “You felt more involved in the community that way, and you learned that theatre isn’t just that boring thing you watch on TV.”
Children’s theatre at Flagler began many years ago, with the work of retired Professor Emeritus Phyllis Gibbs. In those days, schools would come to the college to watch the performance in Lewis Auditorium. This year the department decided to take to show on the road and will be touring to three schools.
“The teachers (at the schools) are really excited, and so are we,” Instructor Leah Page said. “The touring component provides an intimacy; the actors are on the same level as the students and are connecting with them in a way that can only happen in a smaller playing space.”
In addition to the three school visits, students in the Children’s Theatre course will host a public performance of the same show on Saturday, April 8, at 2 p.m. in the college’s Virginia Room in the Ringhaver Student Center. The show runs approximately 35 minutes. Tickets are free, but people interested in attending can reserve their tickets by visiting http://www.flagler.universitytickets.com or calling (904) 826-8600.
Performance acknowledgement: Based on the book “Zoom.” Text ©2003 Bob Munsch Enterprises and illustrations © 2003 by Michael Martchenko. Based on the book “Love You Forever.” Text copyright © 1987 by Bob Munsch Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved. Based on “The Paper Bag Princess, Mortimer and Murmel, Murmel, Murmel ” written by Robert Munsch, © Bob Munsch Enterprises Ltd.