April 27, 2009
“Journey through the Wormhole,” a play written, acted and produced by and fifth graders in Anne Marie Martin’s class at Fort Kent Elementary School in collaboration with UMFK students in Dr. Vladimir Suchan’s Legal Foundations class, will be presented on Thursday, April 30 in Fox Auditorium on the UMFK campus.
The play will be performed at 12:30 p.m., and again that evening at 6:30 p.m. The performances are free, and are opened to the public.
The play’s presentations will be the culmination of a fantastic joint project undertaken by Professor Suchan’s education students and the fifth-graders.
Students in Ann LeBlanc’s first grade class at Fort Kent Elementary School also will be performing.
In January of this year, Dr. Suchan presented his class with an interesting proposal. A last minute teacher change at Fort Kent Elementary resulted in students from one class being unable to participate in the fundraising necessary to work with Stage Adventures in order to present a class play.
Dr. Suchan challenged his UMFK students to work with the elementary school class toward writing and producing an original dramatic production.
The project ultimately would include twice-weekly visits to the class. During those times, UMFK students were involved in planning and teaching a class unit on the solar system, and in language arts. The lessons focused on the story of The Little Prince.
For Dr. Suchan’s students, a greater challenge likely could not have been presented. Members of the UMFK class were only too happy to spend the time and gain experience working with the fifth-graders. The lessons were an excellent chance to put the theory they studied in class, into practice.
Somewhere along the way, however, the project changed from an academic exercise into something much more. The elementary students were extremely welcoming and approached the play with open minds and great enthusiasm.
As the play evolved and began to take shape, the fifth-graders began to come into their own. Certain members of the class proved to be natural actors. The entire class memorized lines faster than professionals, and students let their opinions be known and helped guide the script-writing process to its conclusion.
Thursday’s performances will showcase amazing fifth graders. They all worked very hard and are excited to show the community how amazingly talented they all are.
Special thanks to Dr. Suchan; Mrs. Martin; Mrs. LeBlanc; Aaron Bernstein; UMFK students; Fort Kent Elementary School grades 1 and 5 students; and their parents. ###