Kenza, a fourth grade student at Groveland Elementary, has an acting role in the Stages Theatre Company production of Maybe. An aspiring actress, Kenza says she is beyond excited for this opportunity.
Maybe is a musical based on the book of the same name by author Kobi Yamada. It is a story about the endless possibilities in each person. The plot revolves around a pig named Orville who wants to fly and his friend, Birdy, takes on different adventures to help him to do this. Kenza plays a member of the Possibility Posse, and her role is to continuously encourage Orville to fly.
"I love acting, because I can express myself and bring stories to life,” said Kenza. “It also brings together everything I love–from dancing to singing to storytelling. My favorite part is combining words with feelings and sharing it with an audience. Everything about the theater is so exciting and inspiring for me.”
Stages is a community theater in Hopkins that is focused around the idea that theater and the arts should be available to all children, regardless of their background or circumstances.
"I love being part of Stages,” said Kenza. “It is amazing to see students, parents, teachers and local artists all coming together to put on a great production. In the future, I look forward to participating in the middle school and high school plays and musicals at Minnetonka. I even hope that one day I can write my own play and produce it.”
Kenza also feels that her experiences at Groveland have played a large role in her interest and passion for theater and storytelling.
"My teachers have always encouraged me to tell stories,” she said. “I remember being so excited when in Kindergarten I wrote mini-storybooks, and Senora Urena encouraged me to showcase them in our school’s imagination fair. My current teacher, Senor Rodriguez, is an exceptional storyteller and an amazing role model in the way he acts out his stories and helps us picture it. And finally, I would say our school Principal Gilbertson has been a hugely positive influence for me. I love his talks on Mondays and Fridays where he inspires us to dream big and follow our dreams.”
Kenza also attributes her love for acting, at least in part, to Groveland Elementary's annual Readathon. The Readathon is a yearly challenge that encourages students to read as much as they can, and strengthen their love for books in the process.
"I read and listened to so many books during every Readathon and came across several audiobooks with amazing voice actors,” said Kenza. “I started reading books aloud to my younger brother and acted out all the voices of the different characters. I even started recording myself to practice voice acting.”
Maybe runs from January 13 through February 12.