HMS Middle School Students Presents “Little Women”

(Shopping News Photo by Donald Reese)

Hinkletown Mennonite School (HMS) middle school students will present Little Women in three performances on Friday, February 27 and Saturday, February 28. Little Women, written by Louisa May Alcott and adapted by Scott Davidson, tells the story of the four March sisters as they grow up in Civil Warera New England. The girls experience their father’s absence, quests for love and success, and even death. Through it all, their strong family bonds become evident and even grow deeper. Performances begin on Friday, February 27, with a dinner theater at 5:30 p.m. and continue with two performances on Saturday, February 28, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

“We chose Little Women because it’s a classic story,” states Jeremy Horning, director. “It’s a well known story but it also has a timeless theme of growing up that connects with our audience. As the story deals with sickness and death, wealth and poverty, loneliness and separation from parents, there is something that everyone can relate to.”

Students connect with this story as well. “There is a lot of excitement among the students for the characters and for the script. I haven’t had to tell them why this is important,” shares Mr. Horning. “There’s lots of buy-in from the students.” Cassidy Hoover, returning to the HMS stage for her second year, plays the character of Meg.  “Meg is a concerned person and is growing up. It’s easier to play a person than the animal character from last year’s performance.” She continues, “I prefer acting because it’s fun interacting with the audience and sharing my gift from God with others.” Eighth grade student, Malise Landes, plays Jo March, “Jo is a fun spirit to play. She’s very outgoing and outspoken and that reflects me too.”

HMS has offered drama productions for over 25 years and it is an important element in the middle school program. All middle school students participate in the production in some way, whether through acting, tech crew, props, set construction, or service at the dinner theater. Jeremy Horning is encouraged by the strong support for students in drama, “For students interested in acting, the production gives them the opportunity to build their on-stage skills.  But also for those students who are not specifically interested in acting, the whole drama experience gives them a chance to organize, work and be a part of something bigger than themselves and something outside of the classroom setting.”

Samuel Knowles and Yoshi Allen, as part of the Tech Crew, know the challenges of the technical side of the production.  “Tech doesn’t have lines to memorize,” says Samuel, grade seven, “but we are always trying to fix any problems that come up. Last year we had some problems with some of the mics and Yoshi had to replace a part [during the performance].”

Yoshi Allen, grade seven, agrees, “We have to know what is going on for each actor and each mic and light to get it right.”

HMS offers students many opportunities participate in activities that expand their emerging interests. As part of the club electives offered in the HMS middle school, Mr. Horning is leading a Behind the Scenes Drama Club. Drama club members help organize the props and set, help with promotions, and take responsibility for other backstage work.

Administrator & principal Dawn Landes shares why HMS places such significant time and effort into a drama production each year, “The performing arts program at HMS gives students leadership opportunities in a real-life context. They try new roles, develop their abilities, and take ownership for each aspect.”

Plan now to come out to for an evening of both laughter and tears. Reservations are recommended for the Friday dinner theater.  Tickets for Saturday performances will be available at the door. For details and reservations, call 717-354-7100.

Hinkletown Mennonite School is located at 272 Wanner Road, one-half mile north of Route 322 in Hinkletown.

 

Last Updated (Tuesday, 24 February 2015 08:20)

 
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