This year’s first grade class play was a fast-paced fable of teamwork, compassion, and modesty, offering a fresh new take on the classic tale of the Tortoise and the Hare!

Deep in the woods near DCD, the forest hums with a diversity of life, as a gathering of wise woodcutters convenes to share an important story! Frogs croak in harmony among the lily pads of the pond; owls roost quietly in the high branches; tortoises slumber peacefully among the leaves. But suddenly, the stillness of the scene is shattered by a cloud of billowing dust and the thumping patter of many paws— the hares have come racing through the forest again!

In the blink of an eye, they’re long gone, but their impact lingers on. For some of the hares can be a bit inconsiderate, stepping on toes and bumping into the other creatures of the forest without pausing long enough to say they’re sorry— not that they would, anyway, as the hares view themselves as the fastest and therefore most important of all the forest’s creatures, and would not bother themselves with such trivialities as an apology. And many of the forest’s inhabitants share this view— the frogs excuse the behavior of the hares, blaming the tortoises for being too slow to clear the hares’ path.

The owls, however, believe there’s more to the tortoises than meets they eye, and at their urging, a race is soon declared! Haughty and confident, the hares train relentlessly nonetheless, pushing even their youngest members to exhaustion. Meanwhile, with the help of the owls, the tortoises have hatched a plan that may exploit these inherent flaws of the hares— knowing they are overworked and overtired, the owls line the race course with pillows to tempt the hares into a mid-race nap! On the day of the grand race, the plan succeeds without a hitch! The tortoises cross the finish line while the hares are still fast asleep! The tortoises are now declared the fastest in the forest!

It isn’t long, however, before their new fame and success go to the tortoise’s heads! Reveling in their new status, the tortoises soon find themselves developing the very traits they once detested in the hares, as their pride and insensitivity grow like a dark storm cloud to overshadow the once-bright forest, and the guilt of their dishonest tactics begins to haunt their hearts. Determining that something must be done to remedy this broken world, one young tortoise and one young hare meet up in the forest to train together in secret.

Soon, the unlikely pair announces their close-held plan— they will race each other to settle once and for all the strife between the tortoises and the hares!

As the day of the race dawns, the hares are more serious, and the tortoises are more focused, than ever before, as the surrogates of all their hopes take their places at the starting line. When the race begins, the competitors are neck and neck as they disappear into the forest— and when they come out! The gathered crowds gasp in disbelief as the tortoise and the hare cross the finish line together, hand in hand!

Against all odds, the wise, narrating woodcutters report, the tortoise and the hare had learned to put aside their difference and work together, and in so doing, they returned harmony, joy, and unity to their beautiful forest!

Thanks to Jane Rothwell for her work with costumes, and Sean Reardon for his work with scenery, as well as to first-grade teachers Kitt Wilson and Meaghan Daniels for their guidance and support! Thanks also to all first-grade families and of course our first-grade performers themselves, along with Ms. Sidoli for another wonderful class play!