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home : education : education Thursday, June 22, 2017

6/5/2017 4:29:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Hmong College Prep Academy Theatre Classes Present James And The Giant Peach, Student-Written Production

By Dave Bonko

Scene from Hmong College Prep Academy's recent production of James and the Giant Peach.
James and the Giant Peach cast members take a break from rehearsing.
Students in two Hmong College Prep Academy's theatre classes recently presented their end of the term performances. The Productions and Masters Classes are taught by Mr. Steve Coleman.

Students in the Productions Class presented the Roald Dahl classic, James and the Giant Peach.

"The focus of the Productions Class is for students to experience the creation of a production from start to finish," stated Mr. Coleman. "From auditioning and budgeting to rehearsing and finally performing the production in front of a live audience, all aspects of being in a drama production are addressed throughout the entire semester. The outcome was a terrifying, yet wonderful and thrilling exercise in theatre."

Mr. Coleman was excited for his students to present the heralded Roald Dahl story.

"James and the Giant Peach is a big lesson in how your life can change in an instant. Anything can happen and everything can improve. I hope students got the story's message to keep your chin up and magic may one day choose you for an adventure of a lifetime."

The Masters Class presented Backstage, a student-written murder mystery that investigates how the death of a loved one affects young people. The presentation also featured a talkback where the cast answered audience questions.

"It's important for students to understand the many roles and purposes theatre plays within our society," stated Mr. Coleman. "In the case of Backstage, the production demonstrated how theatre can serve as a means to start a conversation on an uncomfortable topic."

What's next for HCPA Theatre programming? "To be honest, we're not sure," added Mr. Coleman. "Production courses will continue to be offered as we move forward. Our goal next year is to have two to three shows. We'll be doing another children's show and are looking at doing a Canon show that targets a high school audience. We'll also be offering a Storytelling class, which is similar to this term's Master Class, where students develop and write their own script. There are a lot of unknowns at this point; however and like our James and the Giant Peach production, our theatre continues to grow into a giant, marvelous program."

Hmong College Prep Academy is located at 1515 Brewster Street in St. Paul, southeast of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The school is currently accepting K-12 grade students for the 2017-2018 school year; however, space is extremely limited. For more information or directions, interested students and parents can call 651-209-8002 or online at www.hcpak12.org.




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