Morenci schools: Play was a community success 2011.05.18

There’s nothing like the successful presentation of an all-school play to remind residents about the good things going on in the Morenci school district.

Those who were fortunate to obtain tickets to the presentation of “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.” had a real treat in store for them last weekend.

The cast included students from all three schools and a supporting cast from throughout the community. Director Keith Filipek teaches at the elementary school. He had assistance from Jamie DeVoe, music teacher at the high school and middle. They had further assistance from Lisa Acuña, the elementary school library aide.

Ivy Hutchison, a school board member and parent, handled the excellent costumes and district parent Tonya Hoffman donated makeup. Resident Mary Coleman painted the sets.

You get the idea. It was a school play, but it had plenty of community involvement, and that’s the way it should be: a lot of ties between school and community.

At the final production Sunday, the presentation went flawlessly and really impressed those in the audience. From the stage crew (led by Carolyn Blaker) to the lighting crew (directed by Jacob Mock and Michael Iffland), it was a first-rate show to make district residents proud.

The play showcases the importance of the arts in the public school curriculum (along with the art show in the gymnasium). Although elementary school art was eliminated due to budget cuts, music classes remain, and with them comes Mr. Filipek who brings out the talent in Morenci’s youngsters.