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Teen directs Children's Theater play
Zach Hodge, 19, directed the Rumford Public Library Children's Therater this summer. Seen here with some of the cast members, he also had a small part in the play as the prince (wearing the crown). Zach aspires to a career as a director. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
RUMFORD/MEXICO -- Unable to find a director, last year marked the first time in 30 years that the Rumford Public Library Children's Therater did not have a play.
For 2013, Children's Librarian Sue Marshall said she didn't know if they would find a director either. However, she kept getting emails from a teenager offering to direct the play, noting that he would like to somebody become a director. After a time, she accepted his offer.
That director is Zach Hodge, 19, who graduated last June from Dirigo High School. On July 25, the play, Beauty and the Beast, took place at the Mountain Valley Middle School. The performance was not only entertaining, but showed a lot of good work that went into a successful effort.
"I started theater in fifth grade and in middle school. The director of the theater club at the time inspired me so much that I continued doing theater through all the rest of middle and high school education," noted Zach.
"It wasn't until I was a junior in high school that I realized it was my dream to be a director. In the early spring of this year, I called Sue Marshall at the library an offered to direct the play she was thrilled. After I started working on the script, I knew Disney was a big deal with kids it was then I decided to do Beauty and the Beast," he said.
After completing the script, Zach held auditions in May, with reheasals beginning a week later.
"During June and July, we worked on character, blocking positioning but there is still more to teach the kids. We had bumps here and there but with the help of my assistant director and stage manager, we were able to work through them," he said.
Zach is planning on taking a year off, but plans to take some college courses locally. "I plan to some day attend the University of Maine in Farmington to study theater."
He thanked his parents, Steve and Tina, as well as his grandmother, Yvette LeBlanc, for supporting Zach in his decisions, as well as teachers Peggy Morse, Lisa Cote, and Lucy Kochis for "teaching me never to give up."
Zach also thanked his assistant director for the play, Susan DeRoehn, for "coaching me through the direct process, and who is still coaching me to preparing me for next year," as well as stage manager Lisa Picard for "making the set and and for playing our beast in a month's notice. I hope you will help out next year. I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart."
And in case you haven't figured it out yet, Zach has offered to direct the Children Theater play again next year.