Theater at Monmouth will bring classic literature alive for students across the state with its annual Page to Stage tour through May 19, according to a news release from the theater company.

Developed for grades pre-K to grade eight, the tour will bring a world-premiere adaptation of the 10th-century Japanese folktale, “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” to elementary and middle schools across the state.

“The live performance is something students don’t see often anymore,” said Pamela Prescott, a fourth-grade teacher at Belgrade Central School, according to the release. “[Attending a] performance of classic literature is a great connector to the classroom.” Jolene Libby, a first-grade teacher at Turner Primary School, said according to the release. “I believe it to be a real and authentic experience that students might not experience otherwise.”

The play is about a mysterious baby that is discovered inside a glowing stalk of bamboo. Raised with love and devotion, Kaguya grows into a caring and intelligent young woman. Her true identity is revealed when an ambassador arrives to return her to the moon; but first she bestows a great gift, saving the earth she has come to cherish.

The production, adapted by Max Waszak, brings the classic tale to life with a modern twist focusing on developing strong character skills as well as emphasizing the need to care for the earth. Through this adaptation, and the associated Teacher Resource Guide and workshop, students explore Japanese literature, stereotypes and sustainability. The original 10th-century tale, “Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter),” is the earliest known piece of Japanese literature.

Providence-based actor and director Jake Loewenthal will make his Theater at Monmouth directing debut with this production. He acted in TAM mainstage productions in the 2016 Summer Repertory Season including “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” “The Illusion” and the title role in “Henry V.”

“The Tale of Princess Kaguya” features four actors making their first appearance at TAM: Zoe Lau as Kaguya, Zach Shotwell as Miyatuko, Ashil Lee as Aiko, and Khalil LeSaldo as the Suitors. Set design is by Stacey Koloski, costume design by Elizabeth Rocha, and lighting design by Jim Alexander.

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