By Bruce Christie
Literacy Team Leader
---- — EPPING — A favorite Aesop’s fable came to life on stage at Epping Middle School (EMS) on February 21, in Children’s Stage Adventure’s (CSA) original musical adaptation of “Androcles and the Lion”.
When Andorcles, a slave, runs away from his miserly masters, his troubles begin to mount. Soon he comes face to face with a fierce lion in the forest. He is sure he has met his end. Fortunately a selfless act of kindness frees the lion from pain and gains Androcles a faithful, lifelong friend. Androcles is later captured and punished for his errors. In the exciting finale, Androcles is unexpectedly reunited with his devoted lion friend and spared an unhappy ending.
The show featured an original comedy script by Ron and Lorrie Gray and original music written by Tom Martin for the play.
“Androcles and the Lion” featured thirty-six Epping Middle School students. Throughout the week, these talented performers worked in intensive rehearsals conducted by Children’s Stage Adventures’ actors/educators Stephanie Figer and Ben Regan.
Adrocles was played by Riley Brissette, and young Androcles by Maya Martin. Casey Needham and Emily Richards appeared as the Lion. Androcoles’ masters, the Miser family, were performed by Alec Silva, Cat Poulin, Cerys McCabe, Addy Bickford, and Rachel Martin. The Roman Emperor and Empress were played by Gracia Jordan and Kiana Pond.
The Players/Roman citizens included Michael Rainford, Stephanie DiFrancesco, Tori Maestas, and Emily Finney. Keyghan Lewis, Jernna Lavoie, Michaela Sable, MacKenzie Newman, MacKenzie Rancati, and Karissa Martin appeared as Pirates. The Soldiers of the Roman Guard were: Joe Fury, Peyton Rivers, Emma Jackson, Chloe Meyers, Josie Wentworth, and Owen Joyal. The country field mice were played by Haley Pelletier, Oakley Lustenberger, Sammy Johnson, and Alexis McDuffee.
Performing behind the scene tasks were Assistant Directors Brendan Sacco, Ryan Sylvain, Everett Brown, Maylee Gagnon, and Calle Bisaillon. The CSA’s actors shared the narrator role. Adriene Starrs was the accompanist.
The performance was staged twice, at 1:00 p.m., when all EMS students attended and at 7:00 p.m. for the public.