Storybook Theater tours ‘Bunnicula’

Feb 13, 2014
This year’s Storybook Theater troupe includes, from left, Kevin Donlin, Micah Morin, Juno Buendia, Antyna Gould, Kaitlyn Hanson, Jacob Siegel, Josh Beckett and Claire Lupien.

Waldoboro — Medomak Valley High School’s Storybook Theater, in its second year of existence, once again took their show on the road to RSU 40’s elementary schools, as well as nearby Wiscasset Primary School — six schools in three days.

This year’s production was “Bunnicula,” a musical based on the book by James Howe that often is read by students in third and fourth grades. The Monroe family comes home from the movie theater with a new family pet, a bunny that doesn’t quite fit in with the cat and dog that already inhabit the household. Chester the cat has a particularly difficult time accepting Bunnicula, who he believes is a vampire endangering all their lives. In reality, Bunnicula just wants to be welcomed despite his differences.

Several students returned to Storybook Theater for a second year. Junior Josh Beckett, a MVHS stage veteran, and sophomore Claire Lupien led the cast, playing Harold, the lovable but sometimes slow-witted family dog; and Chester, the incredibly intelligent but sometimes hard-hearted family cat. Sophomore Jacob Siegel took on the challenge of bringing the rabbit puppet Bunnicula to life, and junior Kevin Donlin played the head of the family, Mr. Monroe.

The Storybook veterans were joined by three freshmen: Antyna Gould playing Mrs. Monroe; Micah Morin playing Pete Monroe; and Juno Buendia playing Toby Monroe. Rounding out the cast was Kaitlyn Hanson who, though no stranger to the stage, took on a supporting role running the production’s sound effects and music.

The brainchild of English teacher Heather Webster, Storybook Theater has a mission to excite youngsters about both reading and theater by bringing a well-known story to life on the stage. There are so many opportunities to make connections to the curriculum, she said, and “It’s a great feeling to hear back from elementary teachers that students are asking for the book.”

Students who participate in Storybook Theater earn community service hours, but their real reward is meeting the challenge of planning and producing a road show and performing at their former elementary schools.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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