Lake Superior Theatre - 270 N Lakeshore Blvd. Marquette, MI 49855

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SPECIAL SHOWING: A Man Named Marquette

A Man Named Marquette- Original Historical Production by Lake Superior Youth Theatre


A group of young local playwrights took curiosity about the man for which the town of Marquette is named to a fun conclusion: They wrote a production for Lake Superior Youth Theatre which will be performed this month in conjunction with a fundraising event for the Father Marquette statue restoration project.  Lake Superior Youth Theatre put together a team of eight authors, from ages six to twenty-one. They began their research in mid-March and finalized the first draft of the script in mid-April. 

Ella Kyle, eight, and one of the authors of the play, said, “I really like working on this project because you get to see what goes into writing a play. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. The research took us a lot of work and time, but it was fun once we were able to start writing the play.”  

Research consisted of time spent at the Peter White Public Library and the J.M. Longyear Research Library located in the Marquette Regional History Center. The young authors read books, newspaper clippings, brochures, and various documents located in the archives. 
LSYT Artistic Director Nikke Nason said, “Searching through the archives at the J.M. Longyear Library provided us with new ideas and facts to incorporate into our script. We were able to link President Richard Nixon with Father Jacques Marquette while finding one particular document. I don’t want to give it away, but if you’re curious about why President Nixon is in the first scene of our play, I recommend that you come to see it.”

Audiences will be taken on a journey from the 1960s in the United States to 1647 in Laon (France) to 1666 in New France (Quebec, Canada) to 1897 in Marquette. Mike Kangas, who is assisting in the project, said, “This show is definitely something refreshing, to go from a regular play like we usually do to actually digging into some research and writing the play of our own. It’s rewarding to create an atmosphere of what it was like in the 1600s and really fun as well. Working with the LSYT youth is much more rewarding than anything.”

Various characters featured in the production include historical figures Father Jacques Marquette, Louis Jolliet, President Richard Nixon and local historical figures Peter White, William Burt, Robert Graveraet, Colonel Kaufman, Miss Frances E.Q. Jopling and Jacob Houghton among others. It also features two dance numbers, including one occurring on the voyage of Marquette and Jolliet. 

Author Iris Sloan, eight, said, “Writing the play has been challenging because you had to research first, then you had to type it all up, and then the show could begin with auditions. It was a lot of work just to get a script but it was fun because we got to write a scene with river monsters.”
The project has been rewarding for the youth to work on. Author Ella Davis, nine, said, “Working on this project has been really fun but also very challenging. It’s been fun to do all the research and after we were done, just chilling out was fun because we were just relieved to get it done.”   
The age of the participants hasn’t hindered their involvement. Six-year-old Emma Spade is the youngest author working on the project with the Lake Superior Youth Theatre. 
“The writing part of the show has been really fun because I like to know what we’re going to do so I can try to remember everything,” said Spade. “I think that it’s going to be a great show because it sounds good so far and I really like it.”

AUGUST 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Lake Superior Theatre

Media Links

Marquette Monthly May Article Click HERE


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