RSU13 recently hosted Heartwood Theatre’s production of Beauty and the Beast. Nearly 700 students from Cushing Community School, South School, Lura Libby, Gilford Butler and Owl’s sat in awe as actors brought the famed fairy tale to life. Reactions to the experience were overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Second grader Katherine Freeman said, “My favorite part was when Belle FINALLY gave up and decided to marry the Beast and lived happily ever after with her husband!” Her classmate, Connor Bannow, focused on the moral of this fable: “I've noticed that all fairy tales teach a lesson. This lesson is that you shouldn't look at the outside for the true person, you should look on the inside.”
RSU13 Adult and Community Education sponsored the events in collaboration with Heartwood Theatre of Damariscotta. Heartwood Goes to School is an educational outreach program bringing theater arts education and programming to midcoast schools in Lincoln, Knox, Waldo and Sagadahoc counties. The program is designed to allow K-12 students to experience many forms of performing arts including theater, mime, dancing, storytelling and puppetry. Heartwood Goes to School programming includes performances by professional Maine artists and theater arts workshops for students and teachers.
John Sommo, Principal of Owl’s Head School, was particularly impressed with the level of engagement the production afforded. “The performance was outstanding with students truly mesmerized by the acting, set and multimedia effects. It was especially rewarding to see the entire school warming up with the actors. The workshops offered an opportunity for all students to work on expression in a small group setting with professional guidance,” said Sommo.
RSU13 Adult and Community Education is dedicated to enhancing arts experiences for children in grades K-12. Last year, RSU13 students were exposed to a variety of artistic initiatives including Prince Ivan and the Grey Wolf; Sleepy Hollow by The Frogtown Puppeteers; Atlantic Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker; performances by Old Grey Goose International, and a visit by local children’s author and illustrator, Chris VanDusen. In addition, RSU13 Adult and Community Education sponsors after-school arts clubs at Thomaston Grammar School, Rockland Middle School, and South School.