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Drama planned as gift to community

It’s the breathtaking tale of the Boy, the tattered Skin Horse and, most importantly, the Velveteen Rabbit. And Saturday night, students at Marion Academy will bring the children’s classic, “The Velveteen Rabbit,” to life.

In September, the students began rehearsing for their winter performance under the direction of Becky Davis, a drama, German and English teacher at the school.

“They’ve been working really hard and they put their whole hearts into it,” Davis said. “They’ve even come in to rehearse during their lunch periods and free periods.”

Davis said many of her cast members are also on the basketball team and cheerleading squad.

“When they don’t have a game, they are here,” she said. “Sometimes if they have practice, they’ll leave after practice and come to rehearse. They are very devoted.”

Although the cast members have dedicated many hours to the production, there will be no admission costs to the 7 p.m. show.

“This is the kid’s Christmas gift to the community,” Davis said. “But we are accepting donations to the drama club because we are trying to get curtains for the stage. We have these homemade ones hanging up now.”

But Davis said they have used the stage to its full limits with a set design that depicts the toy closet, the Boy’s bedroom, and the forest and garden down in front of the stage.

The cast ranges from pre-k students to juniors at the Academy, Davis said.

“We have 20-25 members and the pre-k students are the baby bunnies,” she added.

Davis said tenth-grader Kellen Green who plays the Velveteen Rabbit, seventh-grader Bailey Jean Barton who is the Boy and eight-grader Sean Davis who is the Skin Horse, all had major roles in the school’s spring production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

“A lot of our older students used to have siblings who would be in our plays years ago. When they were smaller, they were extras and now they have taken the place of their siblings with the lead roles,” said Davis who has taught drama at the Academy for 10 years.

Davis said the production is family oriented and will be great for anyone who has a kid or is a kid at heart.

“I love it and, no matter how many times I see it, I still cry when the rabbit becomes real,” Davis said. “Whenever they get to that part in rehearsal, they say ‘get the Kleenex for Ms. Davis.'”