On February 18 & 19, New Stage Theatre presented in-school performances of Androcles and the Lion and Mississippi Talking: Scenes from Mississippi Writers at New Albany Elementary School and New Albany High School, as part of the New Stage Theatre Arts-in-Education statewide touring program. Androcles and the Lion was presented on February 18 at 10:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. at New Albany Elementary School for 1,128 Pre-K to 5th grade students; and Mississippi Talking was presented on February 19 at 8:15 a.m. for 498 6th through 8th grade students and at 10:00 a.m. for 545 9th through 12th grade students.
Androcles and the Lion, adapted by Kathryn Walat from Aesop’s fable, features an unlikely trio of friends of a singing mouse, an escaped slave, and a hungry lion whose bond is put to the test in this enchanting and heartwarming 50-minute play. Androcles, an escaped slave from the city, makes his way into the jungle where he finds the Lion with a thorn in his paw. Risking capture, Androcles decides to help the Lion and the two become fast friends. But when the evil Emperor imprisons the two companions, it’s the tiny Mouse who reminds them all that friendships aren’t easily broken.
Mississippi Talking: Scenes from Mississippi Writers is an entertaining and moving show, which illuminates the richness of the state’s culture in scenes gathered from the works of Mississippi’s finest writers. Audiences will be fascinated by this 55-minutes theatrical view of Mississippi that joins comic and dramatic scenes selected from poetry, drama, short stories, and novels by Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Richard Wright and more.
The shows were directed by Chris Roebuck, Education Director at New Stage, and Francine Reynolds, Artistic Director at New Stage. They were performed by New Stage’s Professional Acting Company members Chris Ambrose, Matthew Denton, Allison Heinz, and Briana Thomas.
The performance was followed by an open discussion between the acting company and the students. The discussion explored the literature, the themes of the play, and the experience of acting.
New Stage Theatre is a professional not-for-profit theatre. New Stage Theatre’s Arts-in-Education tours are supported, in part, by Entergy, the Chisholm Foundation, and the Mississippi Arts Commission.