Reading Theatre


| Hope Dawson

Speech, Drama, and Debate posing for a picture before Readers Theatre

- Hope Dawson, Editor

On December 4th & 5th, Norman North, Whitter, and Longfellow’s Speech, Debate, & Drama teams, with North’s One-Act troupe, came together to put on this year’s Readers Theater. The Speech, Debate, and Drama teams from the three schools performed The Secret Knowledge of Grown-ups and Norman North’s One-Act performed 26 Pebbles

| Hope Dawson
Speech, Drama, and Debate performing a scene from The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups. 

Written by David Wisniewski, The Secret Knowledge of Grown-ups tells the story of why parents truly make you do the things you do, such as eating your vegetables, brushing your hair, and drinking your milk. The comedy, performed by a combination of Whittier, Longfellow, and Norman North actors, left the audience laughing after each scene. One memorable scene was when the parents enforce the rules about biting one’s nails; otherwise the nails would grow into fingers, so when a ring fingernail grows into a finger it is very rich and always has a wife, so the students decided to add Ahrla Daison to the performance to portray the ring finger’s wife. The students in this particular scene kept Ahrla’s appearance in the scene a secret so when she entered the stage it was a surprise to almost everyone. Daison ran out onto the stage and posed and then ran off the stage.  That simple scene was a highlight of the show. Another standout scene was about how kids need to drink their milk; otherwise the cows won’t get milked and will explode, Hyrum Farnsworth made a human pyramid with Jack Jungman and Avery Gardner to create the exploding cow, Farnsworth’s creative decision to moo and then fall off his co-stars was a hilarious addition to the already funny scene.  

| Hope Dawson
One-Act performing at Readers Theatre.

26 Pebbles is the story of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The small town was virtually unknown until December 14, 2012, when the shooting happened. This play shows the aftermath of this tragedy and how the town was transformed. A school shooting is a controversial subject, however, the way that the One-Act performed the piece it seemed like they took the controversy away and just showed a town trying to recover from a massive tragedy. The audience, who’s faces only showed concern, were also listening to their own internal dialogue. One audience member, and mom, Melissa Dawson started to cry during the performance, when asked why,  she said, “I remember watching it on the news and having kids in school myself, [it] hit very close to home for me.” The goal, the actors said, was to start a conversation that stems from the town healing. Those conversations were already starting outside of the Longfellow auditorium immediately following the powerful performance. 

| Hope Dawson
Hyrum Farnsworth performing at Readers Theatre.

When asked, the performers said their favorite part of Readers Theater was that “Reader’s Theater is super fun” Mason Leidner said, “I’m glad I got to work with all of the people in it, and it’s really cool to see everybody just doing their best.” When Hyrum Farnsworth was asked he said, “My favorite part of Reader’s Theater is kind of how much fun it is because we put it together really quickly.  And, it’s so chaotic, but it’s also super fun, and it’s not a big event, but it’s really nice to get to see the one-act, and, like, do cool stuff.” 


Readers Theater was a successful show, even though there was a switch in performers on the second day due to the conflicting choir concert making Hyrum Farnsworth sing alongside Faith Dawson, and Ahrla Daison helping out in one of North’s Speech, Drama, and Debate scenes. The night was balanced with tragedy and comedy, it began light, and, though it ended with a tragedy, it left the audience feeling more contemplative than sad.