Star Wars meets Winterfest, a 'galaxy' not far from Fairfield
The Unquowa School's annual "Winterfest" holiday production.
"It's hysterical," said former Selectman Jill Kelly, a graduate of the private Fairfield school who now has a granddaughter, fifth-grader Maeve Kelly, attending. "It's just the funniest thing you've ever seen."
Indeed, "From a Galaxy Far, Far Away," a production that involved the entire student body, melded the story of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia with a medieval kingdom, where the oldest princess had been unable to find her prince.
Family and friends got a look at the show Wednesday afternoon, as the cast held their final dress rehearsal before a Thursday night performance.
Written by the faculty, the pageant tells the story of what happens when the "Star Wars" characters, including Darth Vader, storm troopers, C3PO and R2-D2 crash-land in the midst of the 15th-
Century kingdom of Unquowa.
The kingdom is preparing to celebrate the 30th wedding anniversary of the king and the queen, as well as the start of Winterfest when their unexpected guests arrive.
There are some dance numbers as well, including a Morris dance, an English folk dance, performed by storm troopers wielding light sabers.
After all, as the narrator points out, it is a long-distance relationship. But promises of time travel for the entire kingdom and chants of "Let her go" persuade King Arnold to change his mind.
The two are married in a double ceremony with Solo and Princess Leia and the show ends with a lavish production of "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
Ansonia resident Jenna Godfrey, a 13-year-old eighth-grader, played the role of Princess Emilia and wowed the crowd with her singing. "It's so much fun," Godfrey said of the annual production. Her favorite part of the show, she said, is probably the finale when the entire cast joins in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" -- lords are leaping, ladies are dancing and maids are milking. "It's just so much fun being with all my friends," she said.
Godfrey said taking part in Winterfest doesn't really make her too nervous. That may be because last month she auditioned for the television program, "America's Got Talent." She said she's still waiting to hear if she has been accepted to appear, and has her fingers crossed.
This is the 30th Winterfest production at the school. "It started after I was here," Kelly said. "I was here in 1945. Things have changed a bit."
And while the story line changes every year, there are certain elements of the Unquowa holiday production that remain the same. For instance, it always has to take place in a medieval kingdom, and the seventh-graders who have been at the school the longest make up the royal court.
Eighth-graders are the narrators, the second-grade students are always jesters, while the third grade fills the role of wizards. First-graders spend a month before the show performing good deeds and so are knighted by the kings and queens.
The eighth-grade banner will be unveiled at Thursday's performance, another Unquowa tradition.
School head Sharon Lauer said the relationships in "From a Galaxy Far, Far Away" remind everyone that no matter their differences, the Unquowa community has something good in common binding them all together.