Thursday, March 30, 2023

Minnesota university brings Bookshop to schools

If the groups producing my plays were a pie, the biggest piece--about 90%--would be elementary, middle, and high schools. The rest would be community theaters, except for one tiny sliver representing colleges and universities.

So it's always a nice surprise when one of those university productions comes across my radar, especially when it's targeted for younger audiences.

That's the case with Southwest Minnesota State University's production of The Enchanted Bookshop (another Gopher State hit!). As reported in this Marshall Independent article, the university is presenting four shows to the general public this weekend. But they're also offering special weekday shows for elementary school classes.

The cast members, some of them first-time actors, are having a lot of fun exploring their characters. 

"She's a lot less timid in this play," says senior Tailer Benson about her character, Dorothy Gale. "She's standing up for people, and standing up for herself, in a way."

But with close to 600 kids expected to attend the show, that's not the greatest reward from performing. It's the reaction of the audience.

"I love how their faces light up when something happens," says Alyster Schmidt, who plays Tom Sawyer.

My face lights up just hearing that.