Aspen Community School stages its latest original: ‘Once Upon a World’ |

Aspen Community School stages its latest original: ‘Once Upon a World’

Stewart Oksenhorn
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jordan Curet The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

ASPEN ” “At this school, the plays need to be original,” says LouRae Doyle, a language arts teacher at the Aspen Community School who, for the last seven years, has written the school’s annual play.

The “need” Doyle refers to is a practical one: since every student from kindergarten to eighth grade participates in the production, there aren’t many off-the-rack shows that fit. The other half of the need is about upholding tradition; this is the 36th year that the school in Woody Creek will present an original creation.

This year, Doyle has come up with “Once Upon a World,” which explores the mythologies of indigenous people from Polynesia, North America, the Amazon and Africa. While Doyle wrote the script and directs, fellow Community School teacher Randi Kelly handles music direction, and a handful of local players have contributed original songs, the students bear much responsibility for bringing “Once Upon a World” to life. The kids choreographed the movement, and they sing, act, dance and play instruments ” which occasionally results in a performer rushing from the stage to the orchestra pit.

“The whole school stops what they’re doing to focus on this play,” said Doyle, noting that the play’s themes are drawn from the class curriculum.

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