“Plain Jane smiled a thin little smile. The birds began to sing.”~Jane Yolen, from Sleeping Ugly
Today I slipped out of the high school for half an hour to watch my daughter Mikayla and her sixth grade class perform a Reader’s Theater play “Sleeping Ugly,” based on the children’s story of the same name by Jane Yolen.
Mikayla’s class practiced this play for March is Reading Month. She couldn’t wait to perform it for parents and for the younger elementary students.
I am delighted for my daughter to have the opportunity to speak in front of an audience. At her age, I would have wanted the smallest part because of my shyness, but she wasn’t afraid to have a main role and to “speak loudly but not scream,” as she put it. As a high school teacher, I see a lot of students — girls especially — who are afraid to speak in front of the class. I wish all students could find confidence at a young age.
“Sleeping Ugly” is about appreciating a girl for her worth, not her outward appearance. Princess Miserella (played by a boy, to the humor of the crowd) is very pretty, but she’s a spoiled brat. She steps on dogs and kicks kittens, and never says “thank you” or “please.” Meanwhile, a poor orphan named Jane (played by Mikayla) is sweet and loves animals, but looks very plain.
Miserella stumbles into an old fairy who lives in the woods. The fairy accidentally puts a sleeping spell on Miserella, Jane and herself. One hundred years go by and a prince named Jojo comes along and kisses the fairy and Jane. I won’t give away the ending, but let’s just say that things turn out well for the nice girl … woo hoo! Way to go, students of Ms. Magan Lantagne! Keep using your imaginations and building your self-esteem.
Here’s the video (especially for Grandma):