Zion students revive familiar tale of Jack and the Beanstalk

Tori Stacken (Giant) fights with Liam Aldrich (Jack) during Zion Lutheran School’s performance of Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum! on Wednesday. The play, a take on Jack and the Beanstalk, was put on by students in kindergarten through fourth grade. (NYA Times photos by Adam Gruenewald)

Tori Stacken (Giant) fights with Liam Aldrich (Jack) during Zion Lutheran School’s performance of Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum! on Wednesday. The play, a take on Jack and the Beanstalk, was put on by students in kindergarten through fourth grade. (NYA Times photos by Adam Gruenewald)

by ADAM GRUENEWALD
NYA Times

A flurry of activity and talent filled the Zion Lutheran School gym during performances of Fee Fi Fo Fum on Wednesday and Thursday.
Students in kindergarten through fourth grade put on the play, based on the book by Vera Morris with music and lyrics by Bill Francouer, which retells the familiar story of Jack and the Beanstalk.
With his family facing financial struggles, Jack is sent to sell his cow, which he does for three magic beans. Once planted they grow a gigantic beanstalk, which Jack then climbs to reach the land of a giant which he eventually defeats to save the kingdom and, through a goose that lays golden eggs, ensures his family’s future.
Zion students practiced for over a month to prepare for their annual performance, according to third ad fourth grade teacher Stephanie Morschen. Students also worked on the music and developed props for the set as well, including the standout beanstalk which rose to the gym’s ceiling.
The play, which highlights friendship and encourages imagination, was selected for its fun characters and interesting events.
“This is the first time we’ve done this one,” said Morschen. “We had a lot of choices and things to look at and wanted something that we hadn’t done before.”
Students in grades K-4 had some help of course though as parent volunteers helped out with sets and the large amount of costumes in the church’s basement were made available. Jennifer Sauter of Hairs 2 U in Cologne assisted with some final costume preparation. First- and second-grade teacher Brittany Moen helped with music, lines, sets and props as well, as did kindergarten teacher Jean Lindquist,
Eighth-grader Tori Stacken took on the role of the giant as well, bringing life and humor to the fun, yet imposing character.
“She is a talented actress and is part of our other plays,” said Morschen. “She was willing to learn the lines and we wanted a bigger-looking giant.”
While last Wednesday’s dress rehearsal only had minor flubs, Morschen said Thursday’s performance, the only one of the run, went well.
“We had a great performance last night,” she said. “Best since we started doing them… People seemed to like it and said time just flew by.”
Talking after the dress rehearsal, fourth-graders Liam Aldrich (Jack) and Elizabeth Braun (Jack’s mother) said the performance went OK.
“It was a lot different than the practicing,” said Aldrich, adding they had done a performance prior in front of a few preschoolers. “That was different than doing it with no audience. The more audience there is it just changes, I don’t know why.”
With acting experience since kindergarten both said they were only a little nervous, but Aldrich said his costume, a light vest, caused some minor problems.
“My spine got coiled,” he said, then not missing a beat, “I’m a jack-in-the-box.”
For more information about Zion Lutheran Church and School in Cologne, call 952-466-3379.

Contact Adam Gruenewald at adam.gruenewald@ecm-inc.com.

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