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‘It’s really important to switch up these kids’ day to day education’

ALPENA, Mich. — Thunder Bay Theatre intends to set up stages in every school across Northern Michigan promoting arts education.The actors placed students at one local school in the spotlight to learn the foundation of a good story plot. Check how they’re acting it out through a fairy tale.

The theatre has a traveling program called Education Tour.

“We go from town to town and we’re teaching the youth about things they need to learn in school,” said Thunder Bay Theatre actor Emily Ahrens.

Besser Elementary students are learning the five parts of storytelling: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion. Thunder Bay Theatre took the basics and made it exciting for the students.

“I do think it’s really important to switch up these kids’ day to day education,” said Ahrens. She’s talking about the type of education actor Lucas Moquin says will be performed in front of 15,000 students across Northern Michigan.

“Arts education is woefully underfunded across the country,” said Moquin.

He and the theatre are fighting to preserve programs beyond everyday curriculum.

“For me personally,” he said, “it’s a little bit ulterior, a little bit selfish, if you will, because I want to show these kids that it’s ok to be silly.”

Moquin said he’s training up the next generation of actors even if students never step on the stage. They’re still learning either way.