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Catch Eighth Graders Performing "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane"

Catch Eighth Graders Performing "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane"

Before teaching theater at Kent Place, Keri Lesnik taught in the Primary School. Every year, she cherished reading Because of Winn-Dixie, by the award-winning children’s book author Kate DiCamillo, with her fourth-grade students. 

Early this past winter, as she searched for an appropriate play for Grade 8 students to stage, returning to DeCamillo — this time, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane — felt like an easy decision. 

“It’s a beautiful, storytelling script,” explains Mrs. Lesnik, referring to the dramatic but heartwarming one-act play about the travails of a selfish toy rabbit, named Edward Tulane, as he is passed along from owner to owner. “It shares a valuable, touching message about not only the people he encounters and what they teach him, but what it’s like to be loved, what it’s like to lose someone you love, and what it means to truly love.”

The script also allows for an intimate ensemble. With just 14 cast members, everyone is central to the success of the production. Everyone is challenged. 

Set during the Depression, the play has several adult characters, forcing students into roles — not to mention a time period — they’re not accustomed to. And of course, there is Edward himself, who appears as seven different costumed toy rabbits throughout the course of the play, and whose inner dialogue is revealed by a student narrator.  

“Staging was a really unique part of this show, since we have an ‘imaginary’ character, Edward, that other characters in the play can't see but the audience can,” explains Jordyn Smith ’28, who plays Pellegrina, the grandmother of Edward’s first child-owner. “I’m excited for the audience to see how Edward transitions from each part of his life. Audiences young or old will enjoy it.”

Mrs. Lesnik agrees, adding that often the gentle productions, those with the least fanfare, can be the most poignant. “It’s the kind of play without spectacle. There is nothing flashy to see, but it represents what theater is meant to be in its simplest form: Sharing a meaningful story.” 

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
May 29, 1:30 p.m. (in-school performance for Primary School students only) 
May 30, 7:00 p.m. (free and open to all community members) 
Hyde and Watson Theater

Cast: Karina Bhatia ’28, Gewlz Dipietro ’28, Amelia Dobric ’28, Rose Fiala ’28, Nicole Hoffman ’28, Caden Joralemon ’28, Sarah Mattle ’28, Lillian Mon ’28, Claire Pierson ’28, Gaby Robakidze ’28, Ellora Roberts ’28, Caroline Slattery ’28, Jordyn Smith ’28

Stage Manager: Elise Li ’28