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For the 14th year, the auditorium at Daniel Boone High School was alive with color, music and fun Friday and Saturday as more than 80 students presented their annual Read Across America performance. The event, is held to commemorate Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
Each year, the musical is performed for the kindergarten, first and second grade students from the district, as well as Immaculate Conception, St. Aloysois and Live and Learn Day Care during the school day, with community performances also scheduled. This year, 1,000 students, as well as some residents of Keystone Villa at Douglassville had the chance to see the show during two performances during the day on Friday. Community performances were held Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
On Friday, as the elementary students arrived, they were greeted by colorful cast-members, cheering as the youngsters entered the school. Once inside the auditorium, music and dancing kept everyone entertained until showtime.
The play was written by Karen Shriner, a fine arts teacher at the high school. This year’s performance was a mash-up of Alice and Wonderland meets the Seuss characters. Shriner said it’s not only a celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, “we are celebrating Read Across America to encourage kids to read.”
Shriner is very quick to deflect attention away from her effort and focus credit to the students, members of the Daniel Boone Youth Education Association, who take the lead in getting the show staged.
“I am most proud of the fact that we had football, basketball, volleyball players - band members, choir kids, art kids, academic and life skills kids and kids who have never even set foot on a stage in this show. It was just fun,” Shriner said. “I am also in awe of the fact that the seniors this year saw the very first production when they were in kindergarten.”
Many favorite characters were there – Alice, Cindy Lou Who, the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, the Red Queen, the Lorax, Horton and the white rabbit, along with many others. And of course, Dr. Seuss was there as well.
Among the cast:
Chris Kerr - The Cat/Mad Catter
Cindy Lou/Alice - Alex Hamill
Emily Myers - Mazie/Do-Do bird
Mikaela Ballmer and Taryn Baker - Thing 1, Thing 2 and Tweedle Dee and Dum
Jullian Gerhart - the Grinch/Queen
Gianmarco Napolitano – King
Jordan Koury - Cheshire Elephant Horton
Austin Montiero - white rabbit/ Sam I Am
FishoOut of water featured Patrick Flynn, Megan Geary, Arthur McGrath and Kayle Gabbett.
Chelsea Watts – the Lorax.
Senior Amanda Kijak was the director, stage manager, organizer of lights, sound and, according to Shriner “the entire show! She is an amazing kid who went above and beyond any expectations.” This was Kijak’s second year with the show; she was student director last year.
The DBYEA does community service work, especially with younger students in the district. Members set up crafts tables, baby-sit during parent teacher conferences, participate in Relay for Life and conduct the district’s annual blood drive.
Proceeds from the evening performance will be divided between the DBYEA scholarship fund and the DBYEA Relay for Life team.