Island School’s ‘Pinocchio’ plays to a full house

Island School’s Main Hall was packed last weekend as the fifth grade class wowed and entertained their audiences with two performances of “Pinocchio.” In the title role was Alex Barry, with Riley Dabin as Hickory Cricket, Aidan Dungan as Lorenzo the Magnifico and Kellan Wortmann as Geppetto. Kiana Baptiste played the role of the magical Blue Fairy; Bella Voorhies and Ivana Wu portrayed Lefty the Cat and Fibber the Fox who led Pinocchio astray. The evil coachman was played by Makali`i Pratt and the naughty children in the Land of Toys were Austin Cook as Lampwick and Chad Andrade and Kristina Scheppers as Jack and Jill. Sova Lucidarme-Musika played several roles and was also a musician.

This adaptation by Kathryn Schultz Miller of Carlo Collodi’s original story, featured four puppets and four puppeteers who acted as storytellers. Hailey Lord, Logan Asuncion, Kealoha Ota and Kyrie Johnson were all puppeteers. Their puppets were played by Maya Galante, Kirstin Malapit, Natassia Yee and Ryan Feather. Each puppet crafted his or her own mask to wear in the play and were manipulated by the strings “attached” to their arms and legs.

“Shelby Dabin’s choreography added something very special to this production,” said director Peggy Ellenburg. Dabin’s choreography was so much fun that the cast danced an encore after their final performance.

In addition to the masks, the students also made colorful fish, an enormous whale that swallowed Pinocchio, Hickory and Geppetto, as well as numerous other props and set pieces. Pinocchio’s mother, Emma Fontes, worked out the effect of his nose growing with each lie he told. The actors pulled off the effect smoothly.

Audience members were impressed by the colorful costumes, which were created by Alisa Yee with the able assistance of Amy Galante and Kim Lord. “We were going for a garish look in the style of commedia dell arte,” said Ellenburg, “and we definitely achieved that.” Actors wore bright wigs, shirts, skirts and knee pants, crazy hats and lots of eye make-up.

Every year, the school’s fifth graders put on a full-length play. Their teacher, Cindy Wortmann, uses the experience as an opportunity to integrate academics with art, music and theatre. Often the theme of the production corresponds with their social studies units. Last year’s production was an original play about Native Americans from the Pacific Northwest. This year’s “Pinocchio” production served as a springboard for writing assignments and study skills.

“Pinocchio” was produced by special arrangement with Children’s Theatre Plays.com, Cincinnati, Ohio.

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