Second-graders rated A on Shakespeare

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The ideal foil for her gifted and talented students, Candy Mowery exudes enthusiasm and a sense of drama. With a flair for the theatrical, in gesture and proclamation, Mowery transferred her intensity, her reverence for Shakespeare, to inspire a performance of “Midsummer Night's Dream,” starring her second-grade students at Ute Pass Elementary School.

“I've done Shakespeare for many years with third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students. This is my first with second-grade,” she said.

After a stunning performance, albeit only 10 minutes, by her students, Mowery was nearly dancing down the halls with excitement. “We've read the whole play, they know the whole story and were crushed that we're only doing 10 minutes,” she said. “But it just proves what kids can do.”

For their first performance, in the afternoon of May 7, the nine actors were clearly enjoying their roles, thrusting their arms in the air to give their characters the proper emphasis or displaying emotions in tune with the script.

As an experiment, Mowery is thrilled, perhaps, exonerated by her faith in the second-graders. “They don't have to walk up to a microphone - if you teach them from the very beginning they can project (their voices),” she said.

As producer and director, Mowery becomes part of the audience during the performance, the second of which was that evening for their parents. “If I stand backstage, then they never quite master it,” she said. “I have always been in the audience.”

The actors were Kameron Becker as Oberon, Taylor Hansen as Titania, Elena Revis as Puck, Nicole Wickes as Peas-Blossom, Charlie Morgan as Cobweb, Riley Shearer as Bottom, Delaney Bartko as Thisbe, Aidan McQuagge as Lion and Garrett Savage as Wall.