Theatre Students Perform Creative Spins on Children’s Books


Students in Theatre 2 pose for a picture in the costumes they wore for their production of “The Day the Crayons Quit”.

“Did you know that crayons can talk?”

This is the question that filled elementary school gyms with chatter and excitement before “The Day the Crayons Quit,” a production put together and performed by Theatre 2 students.

The play about crayons was one of multiple productions by student groups based on reimaginings of children’s books. “The Day the Crayon Quit”, “Chrysanthemum”, and “Scout the Shark” were performed for second graders at Lakewood on May 2, and second and third graders at Forestbrook on May 3. 

Theatre classes spent March to the beginning of May preparing for the presentations.

Theatre teacher Ms. Rachel DelVecchio developed the idea while she was a long term substitute. 

“At a theatre staff development meeting, there was a lot of talk about how we don’t have enough recruitment, and we don’t have enough kids going to middle schools and elementary schools wanting to pursue theatre,” she said, “so when I heard the elementary schools seem to be left out, I thought, how can I have one of my classes… perform something so their kids so they can develop an idea of what theatre is all about?”

She said the storybook performances were based on an activity she did during high school. 

“We did “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” as a rap, along with “Chrysanthemum”, “Rainbow Fish”, and one about a circle who travels around the world and meets other shapes,” she said. 

Freshman Zack Marlowe portrayed Scout from “Scout the Shark” and Duncan from “The Day the Crayons Quit.” Out of the two, his favorite role was Duncan, an adventurous child who loves to color. 

“I am a child at heart, basically, so whenever I performed as Duncan, I felt more of myself than anything,” he said.

Zack is the oldest out of eight siblings and is used to being around children.

Senior Thomas LaFluer, on the other hand, had to step out of their comfort zone to play the angry Red Crayon. 

“I mean, [I was] screaming at Duncan,” they said. “I don’t think I’ve ever screamed onstage or gotten mad. But it’s part of the show, people.”

The storybook scripts for the performance were entirely created by the students. Sophomore Jazlyn Tennant enjoyed the writing part, but felt limited by her audience.

 “There’s not a lot of humor you can put in that kids might get,” she said.

Jazlyn played the Light Blue Crayon and Chrysanthemum, and said she most enjoyed watching Ashton Aburto-Ward perform as the Orange Crayon. 

“Ashton put a lot into that character, and it was funny,” she said.

Junior Lizzy Barr performed as Victoria in “Chrysanthemum” and Purple Crayon in “The Day the Crayons Quit”. She especially enjoyed the plays’ rehearsals. 

“I just realized how fun it is with all the people I got close with this year,” she said. “Feeling their good energy brought me joy.”

Lizzy also gained a lot of confidence from the class. 

“There are going to be times where nerves will take you up and times where you will doubt yourself, but don’t ever doubt your talent,” she said. “Every day is a learning experience; keep going.”