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F.P. Walshe drama students bring Munsch books to stage

The F.P. Walshe school drama department will bring to life the work of popular children’s author Robert Munsch on Saturday, Feb. 7.
Six Munsch books will be featured in the production “Munsch At Play” at 2 p.m. at the Empress Theatre.
“We’re very exited to be doing another play this year,” F.P. Walshe school drama teacher Duane Petluk said. “Last year’s play was a success and we’d love to continue to grow our program.”
“It’s great to use our school as a vehicle to nurture the talents of our young people. As we do this, a nice by-product is that we get to share these talents with the community. Fort Macleod has some pretty talented teenagers and we are really looking forward to showing that off on Feb. 7.”
The six Robert Munsch books that will be featured are I Have To Go!, The Mud Puddle, 50 Below Zero, Stephanie’s Ponytail, Mortimer and The Paper Bag Princess.
Munsch has published 54 books, and his story Love You Forever has sold more than eight million copies.
Petluk said the drama department chose to present the work of Robert Munsch for a variety of reasons.
“It’s Robert Munsch,” Petluk said. “That’s enough right there.”
Petluk was also interested in introducing his students to “the magic” of performing for children.
“Theatre for young audiences is so special for all those involved,” Petluk said. “I tell my actors that they have a tremendous responsibility. There may be a child in the audience whose favourite book of all time is The Paper Bag Princess, so our actress has the most amazing opportunity to bring a child”s imagination to life. That’s magic for the child, but it’s just as special for us.”
Petluk admitted a personal interest in having his students bring the work of Munsch to the Empress Theatre stage.
“These were my favourite books growing up,” Petluk said. “Selfishly, I get to bring my childhood back to life by doing these plays. I get to turn the clock back and try to remember what it was like reading those books for the first time, then try to recreate that magic on stage. I’m pretty excited because we’ve got an incredible cast and they’ve worked hard to ensure we do these books justice.”
Students with key roles in the plays are Nicole Roy as Jason in 50 Below Zero, Bertie Heatlie as the Mud Puddle, Brennan Coe as Mortimer, Emma Fournier as Jule-Ann from The Mud Puddle and Aby Wolff as The Paper Bag Princess.
Advance tickets are available at F.P. Walshe school. Tickets will also be sold at the door.