There’s no doubt that our performing arts students have been hit hard this year. When the Messalonskee Players found themselves without a director at the start of the school year, they took it upon themselves to keep the ball rolling with theater games and outdoor scenes. They soon decided they were determined to find a way to bring theater back to the community. In mid November, joined by the newly hired theater director Ethan Wright, the players dove into rehearsals for their production of Tuck Everlasting which goes up this week.
“The Arts are so important right now,” said Mr. Wright. “Students need to find ways to continue to be creative and stay involved artistically. I have been so impressed with the students’ positivity and willingness to continue theater throughout the pandemic.”
Ethan Wright has taught a variety of theater courses and directed over 30 plays and musicals in the Buckfield School system and community theater. He makes it a priority to provide his casts and community with a high quality theater experience. Ethan is now the chorus and general music teacher in the Farmington school department, but found he missed teaching theater and started looking for opportunities in the area.
“I was very excited to see the drama coach position open at Messalonskee,” said Wright. “There is such a rich tradition and history of theater in the district and I am excited to continue that excellence.” Mr. Wright added that he is grateful to all the staff, students and parents who have been so welcoming and helpful.
Mr. Wright and the students have been rehearsing in person after school, 3 times a week, following strict Covid safety protocol. Students must stay 3 feet apart and wear masks. For anyone who has ever done or even seen theater, it’s clear that both mandates pose pretty serious challenges. The troupe has also had to cancel rehearsals when outbreaks have forced the school to shift to distance learning.
“And of course, we won’t have a physical audience,” adds Senior Julia Bard. “It’s going to be really hard to perform to an empty theater and have the same energy as we would with a packed house. But despite all of this, we won’t stop fighting for the art of theater. We won’t let Covid-19 stop us from doing what we love. The show must go on.“
Tuck Everlasting follows 14 year old Winnie Foster as she travels deep into the woods where she meets the Tuck Family who have all drunk from a magical spring that grants them eternal life. “The play is a powerful examination of life and death,” said Mr. Wright.
The shows will be streamed live this weekend through the links below and are free to watch but donations are welcome. Checks can be made out to the MHS Drama Department and sent into the main office at the high school.
We encourage everyone to join in to support this troupe and their unstoppable love for their art. And stay tuned, the Players hope to bring a second show to the stage later this year.
Friday 2/12 7pm
Saturday 2/13 7pm
Sunday 2/14 2pm