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Ars longa, vita brevis. Photo by Jon Eckard

Art is long, life is short. Hello. My name is Molly Rice and I’m the Director/Educator at the Tractor Shed Theatre at St. Stephens High School in Hickory, NC. We are an award-winning program who loves to collaborate within our school and community.

In 2010, we devised a very special project for women and children in crisis called “Reach Out.” The Reach Out project led students into the community where they chose a local charity to help raise awareness and/or funds. The students wrote original plays based on information the organizations supplied them with - usually real statistics and true life stories of abuse and domestic violence that is happening here on our own doorstep. The Reach Out project raised over $1000 cash and stuffed animals, blankets, and personal products for women in need. We were blessed to work with The Women's Resource Center, Safe Harbor Rescue Mission, Family Guidance Center, and The Children's Advocacy Center. Our work was done in the name of Zahra Baker. This year I hand-picked actors, musicians, poets and writers to go back out in our community and do an intergenerational project with a local program called "PACE@Home.” PACE@Home is a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly that allows individuals in need of skilled nursing home care to remain in their home or community setting. Art Instructor Sue Hardy and her art classes joined us in capturing stories and portraits for artistic interpretation in visual art, storytelling, poetry, spoken word, rap, music, and theatre. Our aim was to “torch-bear.” Torch bearing is carrying the story and memories of those who have gone before us with a goal to keep them alive through the arts. We have adopted the title “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis” which, translated from the Latin, means “Art is long, life is short.” The Project included two visits to PACE@Home; original art work – portraits of the elders; full-color reproduction book of art, poetry, stories, lyrics, and oral histories; Musical CD including original music, poetry, spoken word, and oral histories; DVD documenting the project; and two performances – one at the facility and one at school.


I was extremely proud of my student actors, writers, and musicians who tenderly and carefully listened and recorded the life stories of 23 elderly participants. I often feel that teenagers get a bad reputation for being selfcentered. My students constantly dispel this myth. When we returned from meeting our elders, a student said – “That was so amazing! I wish we could do this with our own family stories.” This project has opened my eyes and touched my heart. It was beautiful and important. I’m very grateful for PACE@Home for bringing us in to meet such amazing people. We will carry you in our hearts throughout the rest of our journeys – using your stories/advice “torch” to light our way. Cherish the little time that is given us; we are on loan. Special thanks goes to Tanner Helms for his constant support and help in the “Shed”; Principal DeAnna Taylor; our Indiegogo funders: Staci Wilson, Nan Barker, Carol Hartman, Ellen Ball, Phyllis Powers, Thomas Gillian, Carole Creson, Lindsay Barrick, Sonia Mcdonald, Samantha Tilkemeier, students Olivia Wilson and Andrew Licout, Tractor Shed Theatre alumni Tanner Helms, Eric Mitchell, and Nathan Cogswell; Carmen Eckard for being with my students while I was away to Ireland and for taking the actors and artists headshots at the back of the book, and always – my loving husband and son, Adrian & Micah Rice, who miss me when I’m away creating art with teens.


Molly Rice 12/1/12 Nobel Claes Educator of Distinction Regional NCTC Excellence in Overall Production Design 2011 Regional NCTC Excellence in Ensemble Acting 2011 Regional NCTC Superior rating 2011

SSHS Teacher of the Year 2010 NCTC Excellence in Direction 2008 & 2009 Regional NCTC Most Distinguished Play 2008 & 2009 State NCTC "Best Sound/Music Design 2008" State NCTC "Best Choreography 2009" $30,000 Music Video Contest winner

tractor shed theatre 828-256-9841 ext. 409 fax: 828-256-7159 3205 34th St. Dr. NE


Hickory, NC 28601

In memory of My beloved brother Timothy Wayne Freeman (1969 – 2005)

WINDED Shoe-skating on top Of the ice-covered School storage shack

Over the edge, legs flying, searching for a landing Then smack – The kiss of the frozen ground.

Swathed in grandmother’s Early Christmas presents – Red fancy snowsuits with Silver racing stripes.

I felt for the first time My breath knocked Clear out of me Like my soul leaving my body. The clean white ghost Unzipping my red snowsuit and floating out.

My brother and I played A game of spin, against my will. I begged and cried and shouted That I would tell. He grabbed me by the belt And pulled me round and round. I fear-laughed as my shoes slid over the ice. Then it happened, slick as sleet, The belt snapped like a frozen twig.

And him up there laughing down then bolting. Unable to breathe any words, All still ice in my mouth To tell him stop and stay To come back. Molly Rice


Original Scenes A scene is characterized by dialogue, character development, creation of suspension and giving information. With using scenes, an author wants the reader to forget that they are reading, but rather live the story. It was hard but rewarding work turning our life stories into scenes. After we wrote the scenes, we auditioned the class members to see who could play our family members. Reenacting our past helps preserve those special moments. ~ Megan Hainstock


High School Sweethearts by Hunter Short The Scene starts with class starting. Kids are talking and the teacher walks in. Mrs. Mayberry: Hello, students. I will be your substitute today! My name is Mrs. Mayberry! (Students still talking) Now class, settle down! I’m going to call roll so we can get started. (Don sneaks in and Mrs. Mayberry doesn’t recognize, he begins laughing with his friends) Mrs. Mayberry: (Student 1’s name) Student1: here Mrs. Mayberry: (Student 2’s name) Student2: here (Continues until she is on the last name) Mrs. Mayberry: Jennifer Hunt Jennifer: here! Mrs. Mayberry: (looks at Don in confusion) is there anyone’s name I did not call? (Silence) Mrs. Mayberry: Sir, (addressing Don) I do not believe I called your name. Don: Are you sure? I think you did! (Trying to convince Mrs. Mayberry that he was in this class) Mrs. Mayberry: I may have missed it! Please tell me your name. Don: Don Short. Mrs. Mayberry: (Checking over list) Sir, I do not see your name on this list. Don: But ma’am I’m in this class Mrs. Mayberry: Don’t lie to me Donald Don: I’m not! I promise! Mrs. Mayberry: you’re going to be in big trouble if you are lying. I won’t put up with it. Don: Well I’m not going to get in trouble because my name should be on the list. (Class starts laughing)


Mrs. Mayberry: Alright! Moving on now, we are going to begin class by finishing the class work your teacher assigned you yesterday! I will give you 30 minutes to finish up. (Class takes out binder and gets worksheet. Don whispers.) Don: Hey beautiful! You look great today! Are those new jeans? (Trying to be smooth) Jennifer: Actually, I’ve had them for a while… they are my Oscar Dailerento jeans. Don: Ohhh! They look veryyy very (kind of checking her out) nice on you! Jennifer: (turns to give friends a look and smile) Thanks but what do you think you’re doing? You’re the only person I know that sneaks into class. Don: I just couldn’t wait to see you again. Jennifer: Oh really now? Don: Yeah, and… I was wondering... I’ve known you for a while now and I think you are stunning! You are by far the prettiest girl at Saint Stephens and the only one that has caught my eye! I love spending every moment I can with you and I was wondering if you would be my girlfriend? And maybe you could go to the drive in with me tonight? Jennifer: (She does not want to go on a date with him) Ummm… I don’t know.. Don: Please Jennifer. I think you’re amazing. Jennifer: I guess we could give it a try. What movie do you want to see? Don: Well, Cheech and Chong is supposed to be a pretty funny movie I heard. Jennifer: I guess that sounds fine. (Teacher enters back into the room) Mrs. Mayberry: Donald Short! I knew you weren’t in this class! You go back to your class this instant! Don: (to Jennifer) Guess I’ll pick you up around 7 tonight? Bye gorgeous, see you soon! (gives her a big kiss on the cheek) Jennifer: (has disgusted look on her face but then smiles when he is out of sight)


The Christmas Gift by Megan Hainstock

Mendi and Misty are in the room playing with their toys they just received from Christmas. Mendi: You know, with all these toys, I’ve realized how fortunate we truly are. Misty: I know! I mean… look at Layla and Anna! They probably didn’t even have a Christmas… Mendi: Misty? Misty: Yes? Mendi: You know what we should do? Misty: What? Mendi: We have enough toys… I think we should ask mom if we can give our Christmas to Anna and Layla! Misty: What do you mean “our Christmas?” Mendi: Our presents! We should give Layla and Anna all our new toys! Misty: That’s a great idea! Let’s go! Tugging Mendi to stand up Both Mendi and Misty run over to Mom Misty: Mom! Mom! Trying to get her attention Mom: What is it sweetheart? Mendi: Well… You know the people across the street? Mom: The family with the two little girls? Mendi: Yes! Well… I don’t know if you heard but their daddy passed away a few weeks ago…


Mom: Big gasp Are you serious!? I didn’t even know! That poor family! Misty: I know! They barely have any food now and Layla and Anna’s mom is about to get evicted from their house! Mom: Oh no! I would have made them a Christmas dinner if I had known! Mendi: Well, Misty and I have an idea… Mom: An idea? Mendi: Yes! We were wondering if it was okay if we gave our presents to Layla and Anna. Mom: Overwhelmed with happiness Yes! Yes! Oh my goodness! Did y’all come up with that yourself?! Misty: Mendi suggested it! Mendi: And Misty agreed! Mom: Well yes! Run over there and get them! They can have dinner with us as well! Misty: I’ll go get them! Mendi you can stay here. Mendi: Okay Misty runs out the door Mom: Mendi, I am so happy that you would give up your gifts to make another family happy! Mendi: Well, I’ve realized a lot over this Christmas… Christmas isn’t about the gifts; it’s about giving and the celebration of Jesus’ birth! You know? What would he have done?! Mom: Yes! Exactly! I’m so proud of you Mendi! Mendi: Mommy… I love you! Gives mom a big hug Mom: Sweetie! I love you too! Layla, Anna, and Misty walk in. Mom looks over towards all three of them Mom: Hey ladies! Merry Christmas! How are y’all? Layla: We are good… Merry Christmas! Mendi: Come on! Let’s go to the room! We have something for y’all! Misty: First you need to shut your eyes! Mendi covers Anna’s eyes and Misty covers Layla’s as they lead the younger sisters to their room Mendi: Alright! One. Misty: Two! Misty and Mendi look at each other with excitement Misty and Mendi: Three! Uncovers Layla and Anna’s eyes Both girls, Layla and Anna have a confused look on their face Anna: What is it? Misty: What do you mean what is it!? These toys are yours! Layla and Anna look at each other with extreme happiness Mendi: We heard about everything that’s been going on lately and we thought we could help by giving you our presents! Anna: Really!? Thank you so much guys!! Layla: Yes, thank you so much! You don’t know how much this means to us! Mendi: Trust me... Looks at Misty We do! I’ve learned a very important lesson today! I am very fortunate for what I have… and getting something’s doesn’t mean as much to me as giving!


The Great Gumball by Rachel Jones Scene One (George walks in with his last piece of gum that he had gotten at the candy store) Mom: GEORGE ELMER why is your bed messed up? You know once I make you can’t even touch it! George: ( sarcastic) Sorry Mom, you do know that my butt does get sore from sitting on the ground all the time! Mom: There is no room in this house for your attitude young man, so just go on and I’ll go and fix it! George: (whispers under his breath) Whatever. (George walks into his room and sits down on the ground right next to his bed and pulls out the gumball) George: (giggles and whispers under his breath) Payback. (George opens up the gumball right in half and then digs deep into his nose and pulls out a booger and puts it in the gumball and closes it up) (Lights go out) Scene Two (Mom walks into her room where she finds George sitting on his dad’s lap chatting away) (Mom sees George has one last gumball left) Mom: Hi honey, can I have a gumball? George: (whine) No! Dad: She asked for one, so give her one. George: Fine! If you say so... (George hands the “gumball” over to his mom fighting back his laughter) (Mom exits stage) (George bust into laughter) Dad: What’s so funny? George: Umm... (Looks real nervous) nothing...


Dad: You better tell me right now. George: Okay, but please don’t tell mom! Dad: (sternly say) Alright I won’t, now tell me. George: Okay, well mom got mad at me earlier and I got upset so I put one of my boogers in the gumball she ate... (Voice starts to fade out) Dad: YOU DID WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I would give that to the president before I would ever give that to your mother! (Dad starts laughing and soon George joins in and finally they are laughing really hard) Dad: Oh my gosh, boy you know your gonna get. George: No I won’t, because you not gonna tell her, right? Dad: I guess. (Continue to laugh) (Mom walks in chewing on her gum really loud) Mom: What’s so funny, guys? Dad: Oh nothing, don’t worry about it. Mom: No tell me now. (Dad looks over to George) Dad: Go ahead son, tell her. Mom: Tell me what? George: Do I have to? Dad: Yes! Mom: Somebody better be telling me in the next couple of seconds or I’m gonna wear out some bottoms. George: So you know the gumball I gave you? Mom: Yeah? I’m eating it right now... George: Well I put one of my boogers in it... Mom: ( furious) WHAT DID YOU DO TO THE GUM? YOU PUT A FREAKING BOOGER IN IT? George: I’m sorry Mom, please don’t get mad. Mom: MAD...MAD...? YOU THINK IM MAD? IM BEYOND MAD! (Mom whips off her belt really fast) (George runs underneath the bed and starts to almost cry) George: Mom, please don't hit me! Mom: Oh I’m not gonna hit you, I’m going to tear your butt up! (Get a couple hits in) George: (sobbing and takes pauses in between to catch breath from crying so hard) I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry! (George runs from underneath bed and runs off stage. Mom chases after him) Mom: Boy you better get back here! Stop running, it will just hurt worse! (Lights fade out on them and then just one light on dad and he's laughing)


Confession by Teresa Keyes

A spring day during school, in the cafeteria Ethan is staring across the room at Ashlyn. Ethan: (to himself) She sits there, looking around like a wondering dog. Can I talk to her? What’s her name? How old is she? I need to know, I must know, I have to know….who is this girl? Ethan walks to the table where Ashlyn is sitting. Nervously he looks at her getting ready to speak but Ashlyn walks away not knowing Ethan was even there.

Ethan: (to himself) Damn it, I was right there…she just walked away! (Knocking his head) Come on Ethan! Step up! Talk to her! (Stands up with confidence) Yeah, I know I can do this! I got this! (With a sickly feeling to his stomach, slowly sitting down)No….. I can’t. I just can’t. She’s so beautiful. She really is. That smile, the laugh, oh man if I could just listen to her voice one good time. I bet it will sound like three angels in harmony. Her eyes…sometimes they’re blue and sometimes they’re green and sometimes they’re mixed. And when the right amount of light from the sun hit those eyes……mmmmm beyond breath taking. I deeply love her, but I don’t know her. I need to tell her, before it’s too late. Ethan is sitting at his desk writing down his feelings for Ashlyn. He pours his heart out for her just on that one note. The bell rings for the school day to end. Ethan’s friend, Justin, stopped to chat with Ethan in the hallway. Justin: Hey man what’s up? Ethan: Not now Justin. I got to talk to Ashlyn. Justin: Oh really? You finally going to pour out your undying love to her? Ethan: Dude, shut up. (Punching him in the arm) Justin: All I am saying….make sure she doesn’t shut you down hard, ok? Ethan: Just pray for me man. Justin: Aye, I totally will. Just remember this: If she does shut you down, you can always go to that girl Victoria. (They both look imagining Victoria’s face. Shivers in horror) Ethan: (laughing) You’re such a great friend man… Turning around in the hallway he sees Ashlyn at her locker. Ethan: (To himself) Alright Ethan, this is your one and only chance to show her how you feel. Just hand her the note and walk away. (Pulls out note in his pocket, Ethan approaches Ashlyn) Um….Ashlyn?


Ashlyn: (Turns around and look at Ethan) Oh, hey Ethan! Ethan: (nervously) Hey, ummm….I have something for you…. (Slowly hands Ashlyn the note) Ashlyn: (Looks down at the note and then take it. Smiling.) Awe, thanks. I wonder what it could be. (About to open it) Ethan: (shouts) NO WAIT! Ashlyn: (shocked) what? Ethan: Hand me the note back. Ashlyn: (confused)….ok? Ethan: (crumbles up the note) I want to tell you in person instead. Ashlyn: Alright, sure. Ethan: I love you Ashlyn, I always have. You are the love of my life and I don’t want anyone else but you. I can’t stand to see you and know that I can’t hold you, kiss you, and even tell you how I feel about you everyday. I want to punch every guy who broke your heart. I want to tell off every girl who turns their back on you. I want to be there for you through hell and through heaven. Every time I want to talk to you, you’re in a different place. I just…I just love you Ashlyn. Ashlyn: (stunned yet blushing) Ethan… Ethan: Yes? Ashlyn: I love you too. Ethan: (surprised) YOU DO? I mean (calmly) you do? Ashlyn: Yes, I have since I first saw you in algebra class. You were sitting…. Both: Two seats from the front desk, next to the window, four seats away from you. Ashlyn: Yeah, It amazes me knowing that every day I see you in class I write you name in my book. Over and over again, I think about you. I never knew that you had the same feelings for me. Ethan: (Grabs Ashlyn’s hand) Well, I do. I want to be with you Ashlyn. I want you to be the love of my life. Will you be that? Ashlyn: (looking down smiling). Of course I will be. Ethan happily pulls Ashlyn towards him, holding her in his arms. Ethan: I will always love you Ashlyn. I promise. Ashlyn: And I promise I will always love you, Ethan. Ethan grabs Ashlyn’s hand and raised it into the air shouting. Ethan: I LOVE HER! Random Guy: Dude…..We get it. Now go home. Ethan and Ashlyn both laugh, heading towards the door, leaving school.


Storytelling As a folk art, storytelling is accessible to all ages and abilities. No special equipment beyond the imagination and the power of listening and speaking is needed to create artistic images. Storytelling can encourage people to explore their unique expressiveness and can heighten one’s ability to communicate thoughts and feelings in an articulate, lucid manner. Through these benefits, it supports daily life skills. It’s an art form as old as creation itself, and in our fast-paced, media-driven world, the art of storytelling is sometimes lost. When used, however, it can be a nurturing way to remind people that their spoken words are powerful, that listening is important, and that clear communication between people is an art. ~ Mackenzie Patton


Before Cell Phones by Mackenzie Patton My grandpa, my mom's dad, has been blind ever since my mom was a little girl. My grandma, mom's mother, worked in a furniture factory and brought home one check a week to support the family. So my mom has been poor all her life, but even though she was poor, she was never jealous of her best friend Sandra, whose mom worked at Sears and bought her all these little matchy-matchy outfits she had to wear. Now my momma and Sandra were best friends in the sixth grade, they did everything together, and the highlight of the week was always to go down to the old mall on Highway 70. This was before cell phones, before cameras... when straight legged Levi's were just coming into style. So on Friday night, my mom and Sandra would go to the mall and when they were done looking around, they would walk across the street to Sky City (that was the Wal-Mart of the day). There was this picture booth right outside Sky City and my mom and Sandra just loved to get their pictures taken. They would roll their eyes back and look up through their lashes at the camera because someone told them that was sexy. When they had had their fun and were ready to be picked up, they walked to the nearest payphone (back then there was one on every corner) and without putting money in, my mom dialed her dad. See, the way a payphone works is you can call someone without putting money in and hear them just fine. They just can't hear you unless you put in your quarter or they called the phone. But see, her and my grandpa had this little system worked out. When my grandpa would answer, my mom would start clicking the receiver and he would say "Is this Kim?" and she would click once for yes. He would say "You want me to guess the number?" and she would click once for yes again. And my grandpa would go up one number at a time - "1, 2, 3..." - until my mom would tap the receiver down to let him know that was the right one. They would go on like this until my grandpa had guessed all seven digits on the payphone's number. Then he would say "All right, hang up and I'll call you back," and he would call right back and they would discuss plans to be picked up. Ever since my mom figured out this little trick, she hasn't spent a dime on a payphone, yet.


God’s Grace by Bianca Coronado Well, everyone knows how adults used to be when they were teenagers and how they just loved to party around, but not many good things happened when my dad would party around. There was this one time when he and some of his buddies decided to grab a couple of beers and just have a little party at an abandoned house. Not knowing that anyone would get hurt, they thought it would be fun to bust all the glass windows with the beer bottles... my dad of course went along with them. He decided it would be cool to punch the glass window with his fist. While pulling his fist out of the window, he cut his right wrist up to the bottom of his hand. Blood was dripping everywhere. My dad asked for help, but no one would bother! So my dad took his truck, which at the time was stick drive. He had no other choice but to drive with his left hand on the stick and his left knee on the wheel passing trough all the lights regardless of color. When he arrived at the hospital, he passed out right in front of the nurse. He woke up to the nurse telling him they were looking for his blood type due to all the blood he had lost. Within an hour of waiting, the nurse got in contact with his cousin who had the same blood type, the nurse told him "Lucky you got here on time, because if it wasn’t for the grace of God you would have never made it through.”


Don’t Mess with Mama by Kyla Little One thing that has faded from our generation is spankings. When my father was a child, if you did something bad… you knew you were going to get a spanking. No questions asked. Now, my father was one of four siblings. He had an older brother and sister and a younger brother. His older brother’s name was Evan. My grandmother, my father’s mother, used to have these diet drinks called Sego. They were off-limits to the children, and everyone knew that. One day, Evan decided he would have the privilege of drinking one. So he snuck into the kitchen when no one was looking, opened the fridge slowly and quietly, then grabbed a Sego and ran to his room to drink it. A couple hours passed, and then my grandmother came home. She was tired from a long day at work and wanted a drink. She opened the fridge and instantly knew that something was missing. She called all the children into the room. They all lined up, one by one. She asked them, “Who drank my diet drink?” They all looked at her, clueless and said nothing. She had four Segos in her hand. She gave each one of the kids a drink. She looked at them and said, “Since none of you are talking, which one of you can pop the top off of these drinks?” So, they all looked at each other and thought “Well, I can do that,” because none of them knew what was going on; except Evan, of course. So one by one, they all popped off the cap to the drinks, no big deal… until my grandmother said, “Well, all of you can pop the cap off of the drinks, so you’re all getting a spanking for the one culprit who drank my Sego!” Evan never confessed to his crime until many years later, but when he did my grandmother looked at him with a grin and said “I knew it was you, I just wanted you kids to know that any of you couldn’t pull a fast one on mama".


Amy’s Lesson by Madison Stracener One night, my Aunt Amy was out late with her boyfriend. She was only 16 and her boyfriend was 18. They went to a liquor store so he could buy her some alcohol, since the drinking age was 18 then. My aunt had never drank before, so nervously, she downed a couple glasses of this drink called Tango. It was a mixture of tang and vodka. By her fifth glass she was drunk out of her mind. He boyfriend, laughing at her, decided it was time to take her over to her friend Carol’s house. Amy was so drunk that she just walked in the door and upstairs to Carol’s bedroom. Carol took one look at Amy and knew what was going on. Immediately, the phone rang. Carol picked it up to hear my Nana (Amy’s mom’s) voice. “Is Amy around?” my nana asked, knowing something was up. Carol was quick to reply explaining that Amy was in the shower. Now obviously she was lying, but she quickly hung up and went back to Amy. Amy spent the next 15 minutes falling down, knocking things over, and laughing ridiculously when suddenly someone knocked on the door. Carol answered it, stunned to see that it was Amy’s mom. Amy’s mom walked in and went straight upstairs. At the first sight of her mom, Amy busted into tears screaming “Mommy don’t hurt me! I’m sorry! Mom, please no!” Her mom agreed to not hurt her and kept calm as she told Amy to get into the car. After pleading for a while Amy trudged down the stairs and outside into her mom’s car. Her mom got in the car a few seconds later, turned around, and began swatting at Amy like a fly. Amy sat there and screamed as her mom continued to hit her. After that whole ordeal, I am pretty sure my aunt learned her lesson.


Lost and Found by Jake Ugolini My dad was born and raised in Colorado, so every year at Christmas time we fly out there to visit some family. Well before I was born, my parents and my sister Jessica flew to Colorado to visit, and while they were there, they decided they might as well go skiing. Jessica, 10 years old at the time, was a far better skier than my Mom had ever imagined herself to be. The main problem with my mother’s skiing abilities was that she couldn’t turn left and this was an issue because a lot of the trails turned to the right. This flaw was constantly making her fall off the trail into a deeper snow drift and my Dad would have to run in after her and get her out. My mom, knowing that Jessica was a much more advanced skier, told her specifically to stay in her eye sight and to not go around the curve where she wouldn’t be seen. Well my mom fell into a snowdrift one too many times because when my Dad had gotten her skis off and had gotten her back on the trail they noticed something was missing….more like someone was missing. My sister was no where to be seen! In a panic, my mom yelled “Jessica!” With no response, the worst possible case-scenarios popped up in her head. My dad, being the cooler, calmer, and more collected parent, ventured to stay calm and suggested that they should go back to the ski-resort and look for her there. My mom, however, was far from calm and was in a state of panic. She was thinking of every possible way Jessica could have died “What if polar bears ate her? What if she drowned? Or What if she skied off a ledge?” My Dad coolly replied with “There are no polar bears in Colorado, we’re surrounded by snow not water, and there are no cliffs close to the trail, now let’s head back down to the resort.” My parents asked around but the chairlift worker was blantantly uninterested. As they were describing her appearance “about yay high, blonde hair” someone overheard the conversation and interrupted by saying “Are you talking about Jessica?” He sent my parents to the first aid tent where they found her. It turns out that she had told a worker there that her parents were lost and they told her to go to the first aid tent. By the time my parents had gotten there Jessica knew everybody in the first aid tent and knew exactly how each person had gotten injured. My parents were so happy to see her that they didn’t even punish her… until the next day when they went white water rafting. But that’s another story for another day.


No Joke by Makayla Wackerhagen

My uncle Dave has always been the kind of person to pull pranks and play practical jokes, just because it was his way of fun. He loved to see the reaction on someone’s face when he would say “gotcha!” He would do crazy things, though. He’d sometimes take things to the extreme just to get that one reaction he was looking for. He would act like he accidently stabbed himself and use props like ketchup to make it seem real. Most of the time, people really did think his jokes were real; my mother being one of these people. When Dave was about twelve his father got him a motorcycle. The only rule his parents had was that he was not allowed to ride it without his father, and they were dead serious about it. Well one day my uncle had been riding it all day with his father by his side, but he had to go to the convenient store. My uncle really wanted to ride it one more time and my granddad said “Okay son, you can ride it. I trust you enough. But don’t go far and stay in this area.” But being a kid, Dave was extremely tempted to ride this bad boy and show off for his friends. Without his mind on consequences, Dave took it out anyways and he went where he wanted to go. My mom, his sister, decided to watch with Dave’s friend because she was interested 19

too. They were way up the road from the house, about a half mile. As they were watching Dave, they noticed that he was going kind of fast. All of a sudden Dave hit a sand patch and lost control. He was trying to gain control and find his balance on the bike, but was accidentally pulling on the throttle. Dave went crashing into a brick wall. My mom was so freaked out so she ran all the way home and got my nana. “Mama, mama! Dave crashed his motorcycle into a brick wall up near the school! Hurry, he’s bleeding everywhere!” Now hearing this wasn’t shocking to my nana, because she’s used to my mom running her mouth about some nonsense involving my uncle Dave. She didn’t believe my mother. She was highly convinced that it was another one of his jokes. ‘Dave strikes again and has his sister running wild.’ The usual. So she walked as slow as she could and followed my mom to the site of his accident, until she got close enough to see the most horrifying thing she thought she could ever witness: Her son lying on the ground covered in debris; brick wall broken through and all over the place. The neighbors had called 9-1-1 and the ambulance arrived and he was rushed to the hospital. After he was healed and normal, Dave realized something: Don’t cry wolf when there is no wolf, because when something actually does happen, mama won’t believe you.


My Men by Olivia Wilson

Blackbird singing in the dead of night Take these broken wings and learn to fly All your life You were only waiting for this moment to arise Jerry Creson was not always in my life. In fact, he was only there for maybe 10 years. But in that amount of time, he made a permanent impression on my life, and his life taught me things he could have never known were possible. Now when my mother first met Jerry, it was not love at first sight. In fact, she had known the tall, burly man with long curly hair down to his waist for years before there was even the thought of romance between them. But after splitting with my dad, Jerry helped her to find an apartment and settle into the single life he too was accustomed to at the time, though not by choice. Throughout this process, he would drop, maybe not-so-subtle hints, of his affection for her. Sending her flowers and caring for her daughters (even though he had already raised two kids) were just a few of his gestures. However, my mom wasn’t quite ready yet. But love finds a way in any way it can. And in this case, it wiggled its way into my family through the dryer. One day, my mom started hearing a strange noise from the dryer. She went to investigate the noises and couldn’t find anything wrong, so she called Jerry. Being a true handy man himself, he quickly came to the rescue, assessed the situation, and without reservation stuck his hand through the dryer, into the wall, and pulled out one dead bird and one live bird.


Oddly enough, it was at that moment, a light bulb went off in my mom’s head, and while he released the live bird, she realized “this man will make your life easier, not harder. He’s a good guy and you shouldn’t let him get away.” So she started dating the unlikely suitor and later agreed to marry him. Jerry took good care of my little family of three. He always protected us, making sure we stayed out of trouble and always taking our knives as soon as we got the bundle of silverware at a restaurant. And though Jerry did passing away of cancer eight years after marrying my mother, I remember him as the gentle giant and caring man he was. Being as young as I was, I couldn’t have understood what a blessing Jerry was to my family until he wasn’t there. Our macho man had a heart of gold and though, you may not have seen it under the gruff mustache, he had a contagious laugh and an appetite for life. I like to think of him as a shooting star in my life that I can always wish on. Or like a blackbird flying over the sky just long enough for you to see just how beautiful it is… Black bird singing in the dead of night, Take these sunken eyes and learn to see, All your life, You were only waiting for this moment to be free Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly Into the light of the dark black night. Perhaps the most influential man in my life though, is my Grandpa. Or my Papaw, as I refer to him. Thomas Gillian probably didn’t intend to have two little girls love him unconditionally all of their lives, but after taking my dad in in his teens when his father, my biological grandfather, died, he was in for the long run. He raised my dad and his sister as his own and when my sister and I came along, he stepped up as our grandpa. I am incredibly blessed to have had him there at any moment of need and to play and love as a child. I learned what a real man was from him. My Papaw is strong, brave, determined and hardworking; yet kind, loving, and dedicated. He has big heart and a bigger faith, and will help anyone one needs him. Over the years, I’ve come to see my grandpa as the ultimate man. But sometimes, I forget that he was my age too, he was a boy once. And when he opened up to me with a beautiful, incredibly human story of a moment he experienced, I knew he was not only the ultimate man, but a human. After high school, my grandpa decided that the military was his future. And he told me that his (large) family would tease and joke that he wouldn’t be coming back and they didn’t expect him. He brushed it off, not concerning himself too much with it.


But while marching in a parade with fellow soldiers not long before leaving for Vietnam, he realized, he actually might not come back. Amongst the clatter of a parade, my Papaw saw the fragility of life and it made him even more of a man.

*Blackout* The sound of chattering voices, mocking, saying things like “Well Tommy’s not coming home” “The military is a good choice for you, son. “ We hear children laughing and the sounds of a family at a dinner table. *lights up, spotlight on boy* A boy is standing there dressed in clothes from the 40’s/50’s with a blank, but innocent look. We hear “So you want to join the military, son?” He nods. *Blackout*


The sound of a parade and someone saying “They leave for war in just a few days. Bout’ to find out what it means to be a man.” During this, the boy has changed into a military jacket/hat/outfit. *Lights up* The boy is standing there with the sounds of the parade. The boy is crying. The sound of marching becomes loudest and eventually the only thing we hear. Boy: I don’t want to die. Boy starts to cry. *Blackout* Marching fades out and we hear briefly hear him quietly crying still. After a silent pause, we hear the sound of crickets and a door open and shut. *Lights up* The boy is back to clothes from 40s/50’s. He says with a smile “I’m home Mama.”


Play Back Theatre Playback is a form of improvisational theatre that welcomes stories from everyone. It is powerful in honoring the voices of people in communities and in helping to build understanding across differences. Playback serves many different kinds of groups. Some of these groups are people who are incarcerated, cancer survivors, gang members, relief workers helping with post-disaster revitalization, teen in interfaith dialogue, and many others! This was started 35 years ago, and now hundreds of Playback companies perform in over 50 countries. Playback has spread so widely because of the amazing ability to create a deep ritual space where any ordinary, extraordinary, hidden, or difficult story might be told and affirmed.


Just a Little Blood by Quinn Turk When my grandfather was in his mid-teens his father passed away. With no man in the house my grandfather had to get a job to support himself and his mother. He applied for a job at a bakery in his town. Back then when you got a job you had to give your blood for tests. My great grandfather had good friends at the bakery that drove my grandfather in their truck when he went to go get his blood drawn down at the health department or wherever it was. When they got there the nurse sat my grandfather down, pulled out the needle, and prepared to draw blood. They stick the needle into his arm and everything was fine. That is until he saw his blood. At the first sight of the red liquid coming from his body he fainted in front of everyone. The big burly bakery workers had to drag him back to the truck where he woke back up a while later just to get teased a bit. The funny thing is my grandfather went into medicine later and became a PA.


Say What You Mean by Matt Owens One day my dad was in gym class at Saint Stephens High School and the teacher had decided for them to go out and play football. Well my dad wasn't a big guy; in fact he was one of the smallest in the class. He decided to play center, hike the ball and block for the quarterback. The guy on the other team was really big, and he just happened to be the one my dad was blocking. The young man on the other team look my dad square in the eyes and said "Owens, I'm gonna kill you!" So my dad said "Okay, you try that but I will pick you up, carry you four yards and slam you down." He hiked the ball and as soon as he did the big boy came charging at him. My dad got right up under him picked up, and at this point the entire game stopped to watch the two of them. He carried him for yards, with his knees buckling and his back about to give out. My dad slammed him down, and said "Say what you mean and mean what you say."


Poetry, Spoken Word, & Rap William Wordsworth once stated that "Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility." Poetry is the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts. Poetry also takes on the forms of Rap and Spoken Word, all of which work in metrical form, or verse. Each of the students performing in the form of poetry has individually studied prose and meter. Spoken Word is poetry in motion, spoken aloud and performed rather than read on a page. Rap is a poetic genre of music, a realistic rhyme usually put to a beat. From words on a page to live performances, each form of deliberately placed words takes on its own sound that is individualistic and as unique as the poet. ~ Jakia Propst


Baptism by Jakia Propst

I'm lying in your bed And I'm wondering how hard It must have been to let go The surface is now rippled and blurred Leaving only your chalked outline In the snow of these wrinkled sheets Painted in the shade of empty The cold dampness of your absence Is assertive Even more so than the words spoken Behind closed lids You said: Take care, Take care of Sista and Hulk" This was your first and only visitation And I am left in this institution Watch, as these words scribble messages On linen cloth I owe you


I am chained to each letter Each syllable Emerging beneath the meniscus of Holy water That greets me in the darkness Where pigeon-carriers fly Reminding me of long walks And candy and John 4:12 Big Mama? "Take care of Sista and Hulk" I need you. Your wisdom pierces my ears like whistles For dogs On nights like this Yet everything you ever said has vanished All that remains is this last testament, your final will. I beg you to stay, And I'm taken back to Sista pulling away Halt Going around the block Pebbles are my parting gift Please Baptize me Take me too You tell me: "No, let go, child. Take care of Sista and Hulk" But who will take care of me? Images of you sprawled between church pews Regurgitates itself You're leaving For the last time I don't stay under long enough To ask if you know where you're going In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit I know the answer "Wherever God wills."


Daddy, Where are You? by Jeremiah Sanchez

I remember the day so clearly I was in 6TH grade, this day, was the day my life was covered in dismay, sick pain, cut deep into my heart like a switch blade, which made, the most hopeless feeling come from my rib cage an angel was born in 1944 someone planet earth had never truly been worthy for it's strange, but sometimes I feel this disdain, and every time I think of him I miss him more and more Daddy where are you? Daddy, Daddy where are you? see my father isn't dead this is his story part 2 and yes when I first heard the news it knocked my heart loose a pessimistic 12 year old always in a dark mood but I couldn't stay dark, Dad, I had to start to shine to prove to you and the world I am smart and wise and even though we spread your ashes you're still a part of I because you and I are connected through heart and mind I would get mad at God like I had to hate like why'd you take my dad now he can't see me graduate dishin' out problem after problem had to eat a massive plate but when you passed away I got closer to Matt, gravitate Watch over mom while I'm doing it major, you loved me more than anyone ever has, rest in peace dad, I'll see you sooner or later.


El Jardin by Salvador Loza I looked across The sands of time seeming To slow down, To the point where it seemed, As if the world had stopped. She caught my Eye and I caught hers For what may have been Just mere seconds to the moving hands of a clock, But to me was an eternity As I stared through her eyes And into her heart and soul I felt my own soul Slowly escaping this vessel That had been paralyzed by astonishing beauty It was as if my soul had a strong Magnetic attraction With her own Never had I felt this way heart pounding with such force That I felt as if it could break through The weak barrier of my chest and escape Then as if synchronized we both smile and wave. Here I was in El Jardin A place where many love stories had started. But none have ever or will ever be as great as mine.


Silver Bullet by Julia Parham This is a poem about my mother’s interpretation of how her and my father met.

Your fingers circle the bottle As you venture into the peace The alcohol promises. Peace from single parenthood And the realization that You are all alone. With sketchy decisions defining Your sudden slurred state You allow a troll to pull you into The twister of swaying partners, Making as if with hands on your waist You are something to the world And not the amoeba you think. A flea for a person worth nothing Of your time takes the lead to An island of drunken stupor That will take you farther from The happy one night experience You desire oh so much and Awaken you to the saddening time you live, Raising that child by your lonesome. The vortex of a drunk man’s potion Coats your dress in a tipsy stir of Flirtatious movements and hands Grabbing for a hook-up You don’t wish to accommodate. Your disgust disperses as the face of Handsome fortune comes to aid the Sticky situation that has come knocking On your bosom. His hands guide the paper towels Swirling into the sweet serendipity Of the night you never saw before.


Now you find yourself having A beer with the good looking Side of the room, Laughing at the jokes happiness Has found time for, When just like that a Silver Bullet Zooms bye shooting you into the First time you’ve felt alive Since your son came into the world And this time should be cherished. In a matter of moments A blonde temptress drapes herself Over your free drink of pleasure And you hold onto as tightly as you can Before he can fall from the cracks In your still shaking hands. A sister and a brother they say? Not a romantic relationship Need of questioning? But this coupling makes more sense Then the one you imagined between Him and yourself. All you can do is trust the man Whose eyes mirror the spark You have felt every second Your time is his. All you can do is give his that Little piece of paper holding 7 digits And hope when he calls, And he will call, More than just a dial tone Will answer his question.


Monologues A monologue is a speech presented by a single character. The majority of the time it is to express their feelings aloud, but sometimes it is to address another character or the audience. A monologue can gives the audience a better understanding to what is in the character’s thoughts. Turning our stories into a speech was insightful as you strive to know exactly what your subject was feeling. After speaking to my family members and digging deeper, I understood the importance of true listening. After talking to my mom I realized that this piece is a lot heavier than I expected. I didn't realize half the things she said to me. So thank Mrs. Rice for this opportunity. It means so much more than a competition certificate. ~Abigail Wilson


The Price of Freedom by Andrew Licout Why am I here? It’s funny, been out here for three years and I’ve never had to answer that question. Well I’m here for the future of my family. I’m here for my wife and my two boys. They deserve a better upbringing than I had. And they can’t get that in Cuba. You know, when I asked to leave this country three years ago, I had no idea that this would be the consequence. But I know it’ll be worth it. If giving my boys a better life means living out here in these mountains for a few years, cutting down trees with an axe for 18 hours a day, then let’s get to work. And I know I’m not crazy because there are sixty other men in the barrack who feel the same way. I know it’s rough now, believe me. Knowing that I am only able to see my family once a month kills me, every day. And knowing that my wife is being punished, spending hours out in this hot sun working on some farm five hours away doing donkey work, it just hurts me… Right now my kids don’t have parents, and it’s up to my mother to explain to them why mommy and daddy aren’t home. But nothing will keep us from getting to America. Not this government, not this dictator, not trudging through chest high water fishing for fallen tree limbs, not these military men with their guns pointed at me. Nothing will stop me. Because soon enough we’ll be in America and me and my family will all be free.


Splitting Seconds by Kayra Perez Eight hours, twenty-three minutes and thirteen seconds ago, I arrived here in Somalia, Africa. Five hours, twelve minutes and forty-two seconds ago I realized people are deprived the privilege of having fresh air. The air is stale here. The stench if people who deserve a proper burial linger here. Three hours, nineteen minutes and seventeen seconds ago I complained about the packaged food. Two hours, nine minutes and ten seconds ago they eyes of a boy, searching through heaps of chicken carcasses and tomato peels caught my attention. Dear sweet boy, where is your mother? Those black gems seemed to bore into my eyes for what seemed like an eternity of suffering. He would love to eat my packaged meal. One hour, six minutes and five seconds ago I realized I could never kill another human being, even though I could load and reload a ML6 rifle with my eyes closed. Thirteen minutes and two seconds ago I became homesick but every second I’m here I’m appreciative and proud to serve my country and I count every millisecond until I’m able to go home. Time is a precious thing. How long are we here for?


Distant Learner & Daddy’s Girl by Taylor Rinck Distant learner. She's a distant learner mom. What do I do? The doctors said she was fine. I didn't think her disability would start showing. She is smart, don't get me wrong but we try and teach her to her face and she won't respond. We take her to church and she learns by just sitting there when no ones trying to teach her face to face. She's learning I'm worried, mom. I know I shouldn't be but you know how I am! I'm scared for her. What if she can't make friends, mom? What should I do? Help me. I don't want her to be alone. Do you think she will do well in school? I know that is a few years from now. I guess I won't worry. It's just hard not to think about it, she's my daughter and I love her!

Well, my wife is pregnant. You see we have been married for five years. Just like my mother told me to and now she is pregnant. Well, she's not a good driver and she has a 1992 Ford Taurus. I don't think that is a very safe car for a baby girl. Did I tell you we are having a girl? I'm going to have to be very protective especially if she looks anything like her mother! Oh, gosh! I'm sorry! I'm just so excited about it - if you can't tell! So, this is a 1990 Ford F-150? Looks pretty nice! I think I could put the baby in the center of the back seat so she will be safe. It looks nice with the camper! I guess that would be good if I need to take her high chair to her grandma's. Wow, I can't believe that! Well, it's a nice truck. So, how much?


Lost Time by Abigail Wilson

Mom- Do you know what it’s like to have your teen years stolen from you? Do you know what it’s like to live in fear and anger during what’s supposed to be the prime of your life? I do. But my fear and my anger had names like, weight, doctors, high school, chronic illness, and most importantly Chron’s disease. It’s funny that I still remember the day it started. I was sitting in Civics class. My stomach started to ache and it began to feel a lot like I had the I brushed it off and got to stay a few days out of school, no big deal. Mom- Do you know what it’s like to feel helpless? Do you know what it’s like to stay up all night worrying, not for you but for someone you care for? I do. His name is Caleb and he is my son. He was diagnosed with Chron’s disease in high school. At that moment my heart fell into my stomach. I didn’t even know what Chron’s even was, I had to educate myself. I knew doctors bills and treatment would be hard, but swallowing the fact that my son would be sick for the rest of his life, and there was nothing I could do, was more difficult. Caleb- Do you know how it feels to feel like you have the flu 365 days of the year? Do you know what it’s like to lose so much weight your mother could count your own ribs? Do you know how it feels to have a colonoscopy at the age of 15? I do. It makes you feel a lot older than 15, I’ll tell you that much. When I was sick I spent a lot of time playing 20 Questions with myself…”What’s wrong with me? Why am I so skinny? When will I feel better? I could end everything right now and feel better….should I? Would it kill the kids in school to stop calling me names and start asking how my day was?” It’s crazy how different it is to go from making fun of people with your friend to being the one they make fun of. No matter how different. It will always be the same: someone gets hurt.


Looking back I do wish I would have stayed on top in a way. I wish I could’ve have been going to parties with my friends instead of scheduling doctors appointments. I wish I could have had a girl other than my mom to tell me it would be okay. But looking back I realize that Xbox was the better drug for my Friday nights in the long run and maybe getting sick saved my heart from something it couldn’t handle. It still wasn’t fair. Mom- Do you know how it feels to give your son medicine that could potentially do more harm than good, but he still has to have it? Do you know how it feels knowing that your son has an easier time talking to strangers on Xbox rather than talking to you? I do. It makes you wonder where you went wrong as a patient, I’ll tell you that much. I spent numerous nights praying instead of sleeping. Call me crazy but I trusted that God would help me, if the doctors wouldn’t. I prayed a lot about financial problems and finding the right doctors, but what Caleb didn’t know is that I prayed about how he felt emotionally too. I knew he was sad. I knew high schoolers were cruel- I experienced it first hand. That’s why it killed me the most when he would come home and lock himself in his room. I already knew what was wrong I just hoped he would overcome it. I wished he would have let me help. He was only a kid. It wasn’t fair. Caleb- Do you know what it’s like to have 12 inches of your small intestine removed? It’s scary. The aftermath is just as bad. Mom- Do you know what it’s like to sit in a hospital lobby waiting for your son to have 12 inches of his small intestine removed? It’s nerve-wracking. Sooner or later we became the last family waiting and were called into a conference room with the doctor. It was such a relief hearing he removed a lot of dead infected sections from his small intestine. But it was a slap in the face when he said… Together- He couldn’t get it all. Caleb- I guess I was still a little angry about that. But I had been angry for a long time. And it was time to make up for that lost time. I was on the road to recovery and was starting to feel better, regardless of how much the doctor could or couldn’t fix. I had forgotten what it was like to feel better. Mom- I was upset knowing there would still be struggle. But I noticed Caleb beginning to look better. To feel better. It was comforting because my prayers had been answered and I knew that I was right. The doctors could only help so much physically, God did so much more than that.


Music Plato said, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Music definitely brings out whatever you are feeling within yourself and you can express anything you want when creating it. I’m sure I will take what I have learned during this project and apply it to whatever I do in my life to better myself. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to write and perform music for this show. I feel as if music is a key part to being successful, especially when sharing someone’s personal story. Everyone in the cast has done a great job working with this music group and has done well participating in these songs. ~ Logan Starkey


Nanny’s Song by Logan Starkey Sitting on the front porch swing The day is amazing Cool breeze blowing through my hair I think that you saved me I remember all the times I spent with you Seems so fast they slipped away These stories you told me Keep me going through the day Your life lives on that’s for sure Waiting for the time when I see you at Heaven’s door Told me ‘bout all of your sons and how they picked on my mom How you stuck together as a family Through the hard times and how you’ve won Your life lives on that’s for sure Waiting for the time when I see you at Heaven’s door…


Fifth of Liquor by Ashley Barnett Intro: After my Pace experience it got me thinking, what if we were to use our own family’s stories. You can never be too close to your family and interviewing and writing about them has been such a bonding time. It was a difficult decision at first who to write about, but once I knew it was my grandpa I went into it wholeheartedly. I love my Grandfather and he has lung cancer from his previous smoking habits. He began chemotherapy treatments in 2010 and has had good and bad results with the procedure. I wanted to write about him to preserve and keep his memory. I don't know how long he'll still be here and I want it to last forever. A fifth of liquor sent me to college If it wasn't for The Lord in the boiler room, I wouldn't have this life that I'm living!! I wouldn't have my wife or my three children!! That 5th of liquor sent me to college. God works in mysterious ways, or so they say. But a boiler room is the last place I’d look to find him. He was sitting there with us when we made the bet. He was the guy fresh out of high not knowing what to do with himself. He was the man who'd been there most of his life and lost a woman or two. He was the man who didn't talk much. I didn't know it then but I’m sure who he was now. Now in a way I think the liquor was part-time holy water. And if I didn't bath in it, things wouldn't be the same. As I paid up, I could see their delight in my choice. Smiles were stretching slowly across their dirt stained faces. They knew what they had gotten me into. I was clueless. Thinking nothing of God’s plan or my purpose – I was just here along for the ride. So I took the exam…and got in. I must admit it wasn't easy to say I was wrong and go anyway. But I'm glad it was one of the only chances I took.


If it wasn't for The Lord in the boiler room, I wouldn't have this life that I'm living!! I wouldn't have my wife or my three children!! That 5th of liquor sent me to college. If it wasn't for The Lord in the boiler room‌ So I thank you God. You have given me everything I need... And as I near the end of this road I've been walking for some 87 years or so, I know you'll be there waiting for me. I loved my kids, my life, this walk has had its bumps in the road, but you always help me through everything. These old hands woven in through time and pulled it all together that you laid out for me. I'll wait for you and live my life for you. And I'm ready to go when you need me... when you need me...


About the Director Molly Rice has held several residencies teaching poetry, film, storytelling, theatre, and ESL in hundreds of schools, colleges, and organizations in NC, United Kingdom, Ireland, Russia, and Hungary. While living in Ireland, she wrote and directed over thirty original plays and became a Pushkin Trust Artist for the Duchess of Abercorn. She wrote a teacher’s manual entitled Exploring the Lough – Creative Activities for the Primary School Classroom and was included in Around the Lough, Lough Views, Shore Lines, and Sea & Shore children’s books. She has been published in various webzines and magazines including Poetry Super Highway, Fortnight Magazine, The Stinging Fly, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and Iodine Poetry Journal. She was a contributor to a major anthology of poetry and art entitled, A Conversation Piece edited by Adrian Rice & Angela Reid (Ulster Museum, Northern Ireland). She was recently published in Voices and Vision: A Collection of Writings By and About Empowered Women published by the Women’s Resource Center of Hickory and The Best of Poetry Hickory edited by Scott Owens. Molly is currently a theatre teacher/director of the Tractor Shed Theatre and editor of the literary magazine “Indian Ink” at St. Stephens High School (SSHS). In her five years at SSHS, she was chosen as SSHS’ Wachovia Teacher of the Year, made a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction, chosen as “Outstanding Director” North Carolina Theatre Conference 2009 & 2010, Teacher of the Year 2010, and won $30,000 in technology for her classroom for the winning music video in the eInstruction’s Classroom Makeover contest. She is the district coordinator for the National Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest. Molly currently resides in Hickory, North Carolina with her husband Irish poet, Adrian Rice and their toddling son Micah Wayne Freeman Rice. She is published with Finishing Line Press, Kentucky and her first poetry collection Mill Hill has gained critical acclaim. * This show was co-directed with Senior Honor student Andrew Licout


Actors/Writers Biographical Notes: Honors Students & Seniors Andrew Licout was born on October 10, 1994 in Naples, Florida. He was born to Tania and Omar Licout. His mother, Tania, was born and raised in Key West, Florida. His father, Omar, was born in Cuba and migrated to the States in 1969 when he was just six years old. Andrew has an older brother and an older sister. He has developed a great interest in all areas of the arts. He enjoys all facets of creating, from doodles on notebook paper to directing and acting in theatrical productions. Andrew was introduced to the Tractor Shed Theatre his freshman year in high school and has been immersed in the program ever since. Production experience in the Shed includes the Reach Out project in the fall of 2010, Riddle Ring I in the spring of 2011, Riddle Ring II in the fall of 2011 and Come and Go in the spring of 2012. He developed a love for poetry in high school and is now part of a two-person poetry troupe called Versus. Now in his senior year, he feels honored to be able to work with PACE@Home in order to carry on the stories of the amazing people he met at their facilities. Andrew plans to further his life in the arts as he pursues a career in scenic design and production. Andrew will always view that Tractor Shed as his second home and thanks Molly Rice for sparking his desire to live a life full of art. Kayra Perez is currently a senior at St. Stephens High School. She has been studying theatre arts since seventh grade. For the past four years she has been part of the Tractor Shed Theatre, directed by Molly Rice. She has written poems for functions such as Empty Bowls and FanjoyLabrenz. She has also student-directed and acted in productions such as Come and Go. She enjoys writing scenes, monologues and student directing. She lives with her mother, step-father and brother. She also enjoys being with her family. She plans on attending Fayetteville State for two years to study journalism and hopefully transferring out of state for the remaining two years or more. 46

Jakia Propst was born June 18, 1995 in Hickory, NC. Her parents are Sonya and Jamal Butler. Jakia has four siblings that are close to her; two younger brothers, Storm and Jace, and an older sister, Shantara, and brother, Tymel. Jakia has been involved in the Tractor Shed Theatre program since 2010, and in 2011 she was stage manager for the NCTC Competition performance of The Riddle Ring. She competed in the National Poetry Out loud Competition for the second time earlier this year where she placed second at the State level. She also helped to direct the Come and Go show for Spring Production. Aside from the theatre, Jakia is thoroughly involved in her writing, academics, duties of the church, involvement in clubs and organizations, and learning to play the guitar. Jakia is also one half of the spoken word duo, VERSUS, with Andrew Licout. Jakia plans to attend college in the fall next year where she hopes to study Political Science and Creative Writing. Jakia thanks Molly Rice for allowing her to be a part of the Tractor Shed and for the amount of time and effort that has been spent on her. No matter where her life may go from here, Jakia thanks the "Shed" for being the starting point of her insightful journey.

Seniors Bianca Coronado was born on May 17, 1995 in

Arcadia, Florida. She was 3 years old when she moved to Hickory, North Carolina with her father Gilberto, her older sister Maggie and her younger sister Kaitlin. Bianca currently lives with her dad, stepmom, two brothers and two sisters. She had attended many schools throughout the years such as Oakwood Elementary School, Jenkins Elementary School and for middle school she went to Northview Middle School for 6-8th grade years. Bianca is now 17 years old and a senior at St. Stephens high school, she has been at St. Stephens all four years after transferring from Hickory High School second semester of her first year in high school. When Bianca was in the 10th grade she entered in the Tractor Shed theatre program as a theatre arts one student, then took a whole semester off and began as a theatre arts 3 student her 11th grade year. She has been working at the Lutheran Nursing home for a year and a couple months in the dietary department of the facility, she enjoys working and helping the elderly at her job. When Bianca graduates from St. Stephens she wishes to attend a college or university to become a nurse or a radiologist and as a play production student her senior year she has enjoyed the tractor shed theater program very much and intends to proceed in the program as well.


Teresa Danielle Keyes is currently senior at St.

Stephens high school. Born October, 27, 1994 and raised in North Carolina, Teresa was always fascinated by theatre arts. Her acting experience launched when she became a freshman at D.H.Conley only as an understudy in the play The Love Knot. Teresa’s main role as Lady Capulet in a short version of Romeo and Juliet shocked many due to her actual on stage acting. Teresa moved to Hickory North Carolina in the second half of her junior year, acting in the show Come and Go and other short plays directed by Molly Rice and other directing students. Teresa now studies theatre arts more and enjoys to writing her own scripts. She also does creative writing to instrumental music and likes to do improvisation on her own time as well.

Matt Owens lives in Hickory, NC, where he has for 17

years. He has been in theatre classes since 7th grade. He lives with his dad brother and good friend. He has one dog named Zeus. Matt likes to skateboard, roller-blade and play video games. He also likes to do parkour and freerunning. Matt wants to be a welder for a living, but wants to keep theatre in his life.

Jeremiah Sanchez

was born March 25, 1995 in Poughkeepsie, New York. He is the youngest of all his siblings with four older brothers and two older sisters. His mother, Deborah Negroni is his only parental guardian, though his older brother, Matthew Gonzalez, has heavily impacted his life. His father, Donald Pinchback, passed away October 30, 2007; an enormous quagmire in the young twelve year old's life. Jeremiah has a dark past that he still holds to himself because he feels some things are better unshared. Jeremiah began hanging with the wrong crowd and started affiliating himself with petty criminals and thugs. During this time is when he found out he had an interest in the art of Rapping. By 9TH grade the troubled Jeremiah was suspended from school for usage of drugs (pill popping) on school property. Shortly, after his suspension Jeremiah began entering classes to help him cope with his misuse of narcotics. He has been clean of pills ever since and has engaged in a life involving dignity and honor. Jeremiah plays an essential role in the ROTC program at Saint Stephens High School and was the Commanding Officer in his unit for 2012. He plans on one day joining the United States Navy due to his interest in the military and his patriotism. Jeremiah He is currently a 12TH grader who is known for his abilities to rap. He has also only had one previous class of theatre (Theatre I) before joining Play Production, which is a hand picked group of individuals known for their talents in Theatre Arts. Jeremiah is incredibly influenced by his theatre class and his teacher Molly Rice. He can honestly say he feels as if his skills are tested every time he steps within the Tractor Shed and he prefers it no other way.


Hunter Adele Short is a senior at Saint

Stephens High School, and she has been in the theatre program for four years. Hunter has been in many productions and has participated in a plethora of projects such as: Art Speaks, Reach Out, The Riddle Ring, and Come and Go. Over the past four years, Hunter has grown as an actor thanks to the help from director Molly Rice. She has been swimming year round for 10 years and has swum for the school since her freshman year. After high school, Hunter plans to go to cosmetology school and someday have her own salon but, anywhere life takes her she hopes to keep art in her future.

Logan Starkey is currently a senior at St. Stephens High School. This is his first year in the theatre program and he is really enjoying it. Logan has been active in band here at Saint for four years. He plays many instruments, but guitar is his favorite. Logan has been performing live in the community since 8th grade. He is also involved in athletics here at Saint. He has played basketball and track/field all four years and loves it. Logan is really looking forward to working more in the Tractor Shed and with Mrs. Rice.

Juniors Megan Josette Hainstock was born April 11,

1996 in Tecumseh, Michigan. Megan spent the first of her years traveling throughout Georgia, Florida, and Michigan with her father, Shawn Hainstock, her mother, Mendi Hainstock. After Megan’s parents divorced she moved back to Michigan to live with her father, step mother, Hope Hainstock, and her three sisters. Her 6th grade summer, Megan and her family moved to Hickory, North Carolina and have been living there ever since. Megan is currently a junior enrolled at St. Stephens High School. She has been highly involved with theatre, cheerleading, color guard, winter guard, and track through out her high school career. Megan plans on receiving a degree in the medical field and proudly serving in the U.S army. Determination is a key factor of Megan’s personality and hopes to use this to help others through out her life. 49

Salvador Loza was born on November 28, 2012, in

Manuel Doblado, Mexico. He lives with both his mother and father. He has two younger siblings, one a boy of six years old and the other a girl of ten years old. He is a junior at Saint Stephens High School. This is his third year involved in the Tractor Shed theatre (TST). He has taken advanced classes in theatre. Salvador also took Musical Theatre with Mrs. Rice. He loves to act, dance and sing. Salvador is also very skillful at technology and usually runs any sound and video for TST shows. Apart from the Tractor Shed theatre program, Salvador took Drama in 8th Grade and performed in the play Grease.



was born November 26th, 1995. Taylor just turned 17! On the day Taylor was born, the doctors thought that they were going to have to perform a C-section. They managed to deliver her naturally!! It took 33 hours to be born. She was born in Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory. When Taylor started school she began a year earlier than she was supposed to for her age. She was 4. She started in a private Christian school, Solid Rock Christian Academy. Taylor stayed in private school until she was 10. Taylor was active while she was in private school. She was a singer for the Christian Family Academy band. She auditioned and made one of the four vocalist positions. She also was part of the drama class. She was one of the characters in the big production, Fiddler on the Roof. She also has been in all the church Christmas plays. Taylor has since been a part of the drama class for her entire high school career. Also while in private school and afterwards, Taylor has been in gymnastics and cheer. Taylor was on competitive cheer teams such as Spirit Elite All-Stars, Carolina Cats All-Stars, and Odyssey. Taylor began cheering for Jacobs Fork Middle School and Fred T. Foard High School when she entered each school. Taylor loved cheering for the school teams! Basketball season was her favorite. This is Taylor’s first time acting in the Tractor Shed Theatre program.


Makayla Wackerhagen was born in Georgetown,

South Carolina. At the age of about two she moved to Hickory to live near her grandmother. She is now a junior who and attends Saint Stephens High School. She went to the elementary school Webb A. Murray and was required to take drama classes. This is where Makayla would soon discover that she loved acting. She always volunteered to act in scenes for her classroom and in the third grade she was casted as the main role in, Alice in “Alice in Wonderland” for her school play. In fourth grade Makayla’s drama teacher gave her a scholarship to take acting classes at the greenroom theatre where she would go on to be casted in a production they had held. Makayla took drama classes during seventh and eighth grade also. In eighth grade she was a part of ACT and played as Mrs. Lynch in the play “Grease” Makayla’s freshman, sophomore, and junior year she attended an audition only advanced theatre class at SSHS with director Molly Rice. She has been in reach out projects and productions since.

Abigail Wilson was born unto Gregory and

Victoria Wilson on December 7th, 1995. She is 17 years old and currently a junior at Saint Stephens High School. This is Abigail's third year in the Tractor Shed program; she has participated every semester since her freshman year. Abigail's time is occupied with spending time with family and friends, school work, and work. She hopes to attend Winston Salem's School of the Arts high school program for Theatre her senior year. If she is unable to attend, she will gladly continue a fourth year at the Tractor Shed.

Sophomores Ashley Barnett has lived in the same state, same town and same house for her entire life. She was born on April 12, 1997 in Hickory North Carolina. She has a loving mother named Lisa who calls her booger and a father named Troy who's called her monkey ever some she was young. Her sister, Megan and her take care of their 2 dogs and a fish together. One day she'd like to see the world and help those in need. Ever since she was little she'd had a big heart, "I wish my arms were bigger so I could hug the whole world", she used to say. As she grew older, her caring thoughts for others did not change. She began to write outside of her daily elementary English assignments, poetry in 6th grade. They weren't loud poems or very deep but they did wash up


something that, to Ashley, would blossom into a vast ocean of limitless possibility. Once Ashley began middle school she involved herself in a group called 'Odyssey of the Mind'; a creative thinking theatre competition group. This new theatre experience thrilled her to the point where she decided to continue into Theatre 1 and then Musical Theatre in high school. High school was a whole different kind if ball game for Ashley. The lesser control and fast paced work of things was exciting, it made her eager to learn and lend a hand. Her theatre teacher Mrs. Rice truly impacted her production of visual art and poetry. This class gave a new perspective to art and shed some fresh light on things she never even knew intrigued her. She kept (and still keeps) a journal of poems along with her thoughts beliefs and morals contained within the pages. Ashley's mind, through theatre, has developed layers of underlying truth and wonder to what her senses are noticing. "Theatre has opened my eyes and I no longer sleep walk." says Ashley. The next year she heard the advanced theatre class would be doing a community project at Pace@Home and she simply HAD to join. If not for this project Ashley would never have met Luther, an elderly man who constantly reminded her how important family was.

Rachel Jones was born in Hickory, North Carolina on April 4, 1997. She has lived there with her father, mother, and two sisters her whole life. Rachel is a very outgoing girl who loves to run, swim, film, bike, and much more. She has been involved with musical theatre and in play production, an audition theatre class. Rachel’s attends St. Stephens High School and is currently a sophomore. Rachel makes excellent grades and plans to use her intelligence to pursue in her career. When Rachel finishes highs cool she plans to go to college and become a missionary and follow in the field of nursing. Rachel is a very hardworking student and hopes to do a lot with her life.

Kyla Little was born on November 16th, 1996 in Hickory, North Carolina. She was raised by her father, Nelson Little, and her neighbors, Billie and Jack McMahan, who kept her while her father was working. Kyla was a cheerleader her 7th, 8th, and 9th grade years. She took Molly Rice's theatre 1 her 9th grade year and decided she wanted to advance. Kyla is currently in the 10th grade in Mrs. Rice's play production class. She has always had an interest in the arts and wishes to further her education in that area. Kyla was recently a finalist in the world-wide poetry video contest for Norton’s Anthology.


Mackenzie Patton was born and bred right here in

Hickory, North Carolina. Her parents are Jon and Kim Webb and Bryon Patton. She is currently a 15 year old sophomore at St. Stephen’s High School. This is her second year taking Play Production, and she loves “The Shed” and everyone in it. She started acting at a young age and got hooked right away. Mackenzie was runner-up in the district level of the National Poetry Out Loud Poetry Recitation Contest last year. In her spare time (apart from theatre) she enjoys playing volleyball, decorating cakes, listening to lots and lots of music, and participating in the student politics club, JSA. Mackenzie doesn’t quite know what she wants to do in the future, but she has considered going to school for special effects makeup. She dreams of one day traveling to New York City and seeing a real Broadway show (after visiting Keith Haring’s Pop Shop, of course).

Quinn Turk is very excited to be a part of this show and

has had a lot of fun putting it together. He has also been in The Christmas Bus, Kids Say the Darndest Things, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Wizard of Oz, Grease, Hairspray, Annie Jr., Peter Pan, and The Riddle Ring. He is the Sophomore Vice President at St. Stephens High School and, in addition to his theatre classes at school, takes classes at Clater Kaye Theatreworks. Quinn would like to thank the seniors in the production for a great last show with them.

Olivia Wilson was

born on July, 12, 1997 in Hickory, NC and has lived here all her life with her mother and older sister. She attended Clyde Campbell Elementary where she joined the Chorus and found an interest in music and theatre. Olivia performed in two shows at Clyde Campbell, the second in which she played a starring role. Encouraged and inspired by her chorus teacher, she took two years of chorus, and two years of theatre at H.M. Arndt Middle school. During that time, Olivia was a part of the Honors Chorus and A.C.T. program. She played the role of Frenchy in A.C.T.’s production of Grease. She later worked backstage at Clater Kaye Theatrework’s Hairspray and performed in their Andrew Webber: a Tribute showcase. Last year as a freshman at Saint Stephens High School, Olivia took Theatre I and Musical Theatre. She performed in Musical Theatre’s showcase that year. This year is Olivia’s first year in Play Production and her first show with the class. She is excited and enthusiastic about Ars Longa, Vita Brevis and has appreciated and loved the experience so far. Olivia likes to read, write, sketch and paint in her free time and is looking forward to more experience in theatre and music with the Tractor Shed Theatre.


Freshmen Julia Christine Parham was born November 9, 1997

at Frye Regional Medical Center. After birth she went home to Denver North Carolina where she lived for the first 5 years of her life. She then moved to Hickory, North Carolina where she lived with her mother, her older brother, and her older sister. Julia attended St. Stephens Elementary School and when she was 8 her father had a baby named Ryan with his girlfriend. She is currently a freshman at St. Stephens High School where she stays involved with theatre and writing. After high school Julia wants to travel the world and write stories about the people she sees on her adventures.

Madison Stracener was born August 1st 2012 in Hickory, North Carolina. Her two parents, Tracey and Phillip, have raised her along with Hailey, her sister, Kurt, her brother, and Zelda, her other sister. She is currently a freshman in Play Production and is enjoying her year in the class. Politics, photography, baking, and of course acting are four careers that she is thinking about. She is in her school’s political club, JSA, to help further her education in politics. She is also in Student Council, a group of kids helping make decisions for her school and the FOR club, to help bullying prevention. This is Madison’s first production that she will be in.

Jake Ugolini was born on April 27, 1998 in

Hickory, North Carolina. Jake is fairly new to the arts but has always had an interest for it. He is a 14 year old freshman that has played sports year round his whole life whether it’s Football, Wrestling, Tennis, or the Arts he always has his game face on and is ready for a challenge. His competitive nature brings the best out of him and he is known as a caring, fun guy. Jake also finds time in his busy schedule to take part in Student council and the Friends of Rachel Club. He is a role model for many and was voted the freshman class secretary. Lastly Jake’s parents have always been there for him and he wouldn’t be where he was today without them. Headshots by Carmen Eckard 54

Ars Longa Vita Brevis Actors' Stories  

Original devised show based on actor's personal family stories

Ars Longa Vita Brevis Actors' Stories  

Original devised show based on actor's personal family stories