Mentoring: Working with teen writers to help improve their skills.
Thanks to the Henniker Historical Society and to the Tucker Free Library for help in our research. Thanks also to the Congregational Church of Henniker for providing us with beautiful space (and even microphones!) for our staged reading. And thanks to the Henniker Community School for staging the production! What a thrill to see our research on stage.
Turning a question into an opportunity to teach research skills.
While working with my junior high mentee one winter, she asked about a local legend: the Ghost of Ocean Born Mary. "Who was Mary?" she wondered.
Our research on the internet, at the local library, and at the town's historical society turned up more than just information about the Widow Mary Wallace; we also learned about the huckster who moved to town in 1917 and proceeded to spin a number of yarns about the Ghost of Ocean Born Mary who allegedly haunted the home he shared with his mother.
As an internationally-recognized photographer, Louis Maurice Auguste "Gussie" Roy knew his way around the press. During the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, stories of the ghost who haunted his Henniker home were published across the country. At the height of his publicity campaign, as many as a hundred tourists could be seen queuing up to take the famous Ghost Tour.
Wanting to share the juicy details with others, we decided a stage play would be the best presentation. Thus was born "The Ghost & Gussie Roy." Coincidentally, we were also able to whip the play into shape by the 200th anniversary of Mary Wallace's death: Feb. 13.
The next spring saw the play produced at the Henniker Community School. We are so appreciative to the program director for helping to make that happen. And for allowing my co-writer to assistant direct the production. What a thrill!
What's next? We had talked about co-writing a screenplay for a film about Gussie Roy and his Ghost, which would be filmed and released in time to celebrate Ocean Born Mary's 300th birthday in 2020. Maybe when she's ready to tackle her senior capstone project, we can see that project come to life!
Mentored high school students in coastal Downeast Maine...via FaceTime.
Thanks to LearningWorks of Maine for making this program possible. And to Three Pines Bed and Breakfast for providing me with beautiful accommodations when I visited face-to-face with my students at school.