Article By Tammy Moore Teague
In the above image, Joey (Left, Zack Lowe) and Saul Bisfick (Right, Jud Weaver.) perform in a scene of Reluctant Dragon.
The fun and friendly musical, Reluctant Dragon, will grace the stage at Mansfield High School on Saturday, April 14 at 7 pm. The Mansfield High School speech and drama department will be putting on the show. Students are led by Mansfield native and teacher, Eryn Musgrove-Hunt.
The department has been rejuvenated under her leadership. Her work and dedication along with eager students has given rise to a forensics program. The team competed in four tournaments and brought home two trophies at their last one of the year. Hunt stated that she’s really looking forward to next competition season.
Hunt spent last summer reading scripts narrowing down potential productions for this spring. I like “The Reluctant Dragon,” Hunt said. This, she said, due to the moral lesson it teaches. “With young children, they do not see someone different as odd or show hatred; it is simply someone that they can play dolls or cars with at playtime.” Summarizing that this play is a reminder to not judge a book by its cover.
The setting is in the medieval fairy tale village of Tea ‘N’ Crumpet. The Reluctant Dragon tells the tale of a young man, Joey Bisfick, whose love of dragons and inquisitive nature force him to venture off in search of a dragon that has reportedly been terrorizing the countryside, much to the chagrin of his worrying parents. What he finds instead is a sweet old dragon (named Dennis D. Dragon) and three baby all-singing, all-dancing dragonettes, who he quickly befriends. Things seem idyllic until the Mayoress of the village hires a dragon-slaying knight to hunt down Dennis – then it’s up to Joey to secure a “happy ending.”
The brilliant mix of veteran and rookie actors began working in January on the stage direction and music. “As part of the curriculum for the drama class this spring, Hunt said, students there have been busy building the set.” The cast also includes a story lady narrating part of the tale, a rapping mayoress and knight that likes to dance a little.
This fun and friendly musical is loosely adapted from the children’s book, The Reluctant Dragon, by Kenneth Grahame. “The musical connects to all age groups,” Hunt concluded, “with references to the Medieval ages to the XBox-Nintendo-Playstation-Gameboy generations.”
There will be an additional showing on Sunday, April 15 at 3 pm. The admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children age eight and under.