The sheep are Reed Sorensen and Elena Myhre. RJ Sorensen is a villager in the background, searching for a wolf in, "The Boy who cried Wolf."

Aesop Fables coming to life at St. Edward School

St. Edward's will bring Aesop's Fables Redux to life in its first all-school play on March 16. Every student from Kindergarten to eighth grade will have a part in this classic collection of stories that have descended from ancient Greece to modern times.

The play is being directed by Teresa Myhre. “I have directed this play before, and I chose it because if has 13 scenes that are independent of each other,” said Myhre.

“It was a great play for a very large cast because I can fit everyone into the play without ever having to somehow work with over 50 children simultaneously.”

As a way for students in each grade to work collaboratively on a scene, Myhre had each grade do one scene together.

“So the third graders are doing a scene together, the fourth graders are doing a scene together and so on,” Myhre explained.

“From there, we filled in the extra scenes with students who wanted larger parts.”

Another reason Myhre selected Aesop's Fables Redux is because each of tales teach vital life lessons.

St. Edward's has performed a Christmas pageant in the past, but the acting in those performances has generally centered around the eighth grade students. But this will be St. Ed's first all-school play.

“I’m hoping that having every student involved will help the students get a feel for the theater so they can decide if this is something they want to pursue in the future,” said Myhre.

“I have high hopes that we could continue having plays at St. Edward's on a semi-regular basis, but we'll have to wait and see the response.”

“In the past, I have found that children who work on a play find it to be much more rewarding than they anticipated, and very often they are excited to be in a play again once they've done one.”

There will be one performance on March 16 at 7 p.m. If the Minneota girls’ basketball team advances to the state tournament, the play will be rescheduled for April 13. The admission is free-will donation.

The parts have been cast and students will have approximately two weeks to memorize their lines. Actual rehearsals will begin on March 12.

“We will be slamming out our entire rehearsal in just one week, but I’m confident the kids are up to the task,” said Myhre.

“I have done this before, with even longer plays, with a local homeschool group and it has worked out very well.”

As far as costuming the students, the school and Myhre both have several costumes on hand.

And families do what they can to help. Jan Bot and Reagan Bierschenk have also offered their services in making and locating costumes and accessories.

“We will have a pretty basic set,” said Myhre. “St. Eloi's Church in Ghent is doing a major renovation and happens to be getting rid of a beautiful backdrop, so we are hoping to utilize that for several scenes.

Other than that, we are keeping it pretty simple for now.”

“Since this is the first all-school play, I am trying to make it as easy as possible on the families and students involved so no one gets overwhelmed.

Luckily, none of the scenes require extravagant sets; which is another reason this play appealed to me.”

Myhre said for many students, sports gives them a chance to build self-esteem, confidence, teamwork and accomplishment.

“Unfortunately, there are other children for whom sports are often instead a source of frustration, ridicule and failure,” she said.

“I know because I was one of those kids.” “I’m hoping to help create in our community more chances for those children who have a talent for, or interests in the arts.”

“In all the plays I’ve directed, I have witnessed many children blossom through the experience, and I look forward to being a part of that again.”

The Friday, March 16 evening performance of the St. Edward’s all-school play will be at 7 p.m. The public is also welcome to come to the 2 p.m. dress rehearsal that day, too.

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