A primary goal of the Alma Education and Arts Foundation is to provide arts experiences for the students of the Alma School District as well as the community at large. This is accomplished in a number of ways, but on November 3rd, a special presentation of the Jack London classic CALL OF THE WILD served as an outstanding example of how live theater can impact young and old alike.
The production, starring Noel Gaulin, is produced by Theatre Heroes of Austin Texas. The Alma performance marked the 122nd city that Mr. Gaulin has toured with CALL OF THE WILD during its six year run. A one-man show, Gaulin plays over 30 characters from the book, including Buck, the legendary mixed breed who finds a new life in the Alaskan Territories during the gold rush. Gaulin is surrounded by 3 large media screens which utilize illustrations from the original publication, and an original music soundtrack enhances the experience. But even without those well produced tools, Gaulin's mesmerizing performance would stand alone as memorable and powerful.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance, over 800 students from the Alma School District, grades 4-7, were able to see the performance free of charge. In addition, young people from 3 neighboring school districts in Oklahoma we able to attend as well.
"The grant also allowed us to make a last minute decision to provide our high school theatre students with an acting workshop led by Noel, " reports Chuck King, executive director of the AEAF. "Noel's impact on our students was tremendous. Many of them returned to see the show at the evening public performance. Noel took the time to linger and visit with them afterwards. He is a powerful performer, educator, storyteller, and just a great human being. We are very grateful to Mid-America Arts Alliance for helping us bring the production to our community."