Kodiak Daily Mirror - Students produce Velveteen Rabbit
  
Students produce “Velveteen Rabbit”
by Julie Herrmann
Jul 03, 2014 | 80 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(From left) Kathryn Buchanan, Shalom Neff, Taylor Nelson (in bed), Serenity Bushell, Annie VanDyke and Emily Rohrer pause thoughtfully when the child (Nelson) first becomes attached to her rabbit (Neff). (Julie Herrmann photo)
(From left) Kathryn Buchanan, Shalom Neff, Taylor Nelson (in bed), Serenity Bushell, Annie VanDyke and Emily Rohrer pause thoughtfully when the child (Nelson) first becomes attached to her rabbit (Neff). (Julie Herrmann photo)
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Cast and crew bow post-performance at "The Velveteen Rabbit." (Julie Herrmann photo)
Cast and crew bow post-performance at "The Velveteen Rabbit." (Julie Herrmann photo)
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A bunch of Kodiak students put on a production of “The Velveteen Rabbit” or “How Toys Become Real” with a unique Alaskan twist.

The students rehearsed, performed and gained learning experiences as part of a Kodiak Arts Council Sum’Arts class. Students rehearsed for just 11 days to put on the one-hour show.

Many of the students played more than one role and several doubled as crew.

With the exception of director and playwright Michelle Griffin and a few adults who helped with makeup or supplied props, the students did all the work.

“They do it all, and we’re just here to support them,” Griffin said.

The play was based on a book of the same name by Margery Williams and was adapted for this production by Griffin.

It tells the tale of a stuffed rabbit that is told it can become real, and ultimately does — through its owner’s love. Griffin added to the script references to eating salmon, reindeer sausage and sourdough pancakes, as well as going out in a skiff to check a set net to make it more authentically Alaskan.

After the show, some of the parents of the young actors weighed in on the play.

“I think they did an amazing job for only having 11 days,” said Elke Saunders, Mom to Mila Saunders who played the Gardener and a Wild Rabbit. “I think they did a really great job as far as just having fun and not getting stressed out. They were really light-hearted and supportive of each other.”

Saunders said that the challenging thing for Mila was doing the technical side of things in addition to acting. In addition to her roles, Mila helped run the ropes for the curtains.

“That was actually more challenging because there’s a lot of planning and coordination involved and then you have to be onstage and remember your lines,” Saunders said.

Paul VanDyke, Dad to Annie Vandyke who played the Fisherman, thought the show went well.

“The show this evening was a little better than the one this morning,” VanDyke said. “Everything was locked in and it was well-performed.”

Contact Julie Herrmann at jherrmann@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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