Imagine Nation classes taking part in theater program


In January, the Early Learning School at Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center started a new theater program funded by The Stocker Foundation.

Two of the preschool classrooms at 1 Pleasant St. began the experience with the classic children’s story “Strega Nona,” written by Tomie DePaola, as the backdrop.

After reading the story in their classroom several times, students have been working on creating scenery and costumes as well as learning about the elements and roles that make up an authentic theater experience.

The program is being facilitated by Karen Pac, Imagine Nation’s Atelierista, and Rick Labadia, a local children’s book author.

Each month until the end of April, two classrooms will participate in the program and document their experiences through photos and videos.


By the end of April, all 118 of our preschool students will have participated in the program.

In addition to the book “Strega Nona,” some of the classrooms will be using the African folk tale “Anansi the Spider,” written by Gerald McDermott.

A special display for community viewing will be featured in Imagine Nation’s Playbox Theatre during the “Leaving Our Mark” Community Art Show on May 5.

“We are so thankful to The Stocker Foundation for their support of this dramatic arts program,” Doreen Stickney, development director at Imagine Nation, said according to a press release.

Karen Pac said, in the news release, “The intention of the theater program is to show children how a story comes to life and that it takes many parts to do that, each part being just as important as any other. Children can work in their comfort level and then branch out as their confidence builds. Children can work behind the camera taking video and still shots as well as take on more active roles like directing and acting. Each child can have one or more than one role in the program…it is a cumulative experience to show the many things that are important to bring a story to life.”