Information About Performances
Each spring, the Jesters presents a culminating, original, multi-media performance featuring a cast of Jesters participants. Under the leadership of current Director Allison Ballard, the Jesters has presented the following shows:
- “Horse Tales” - March 2014 - “Horse Tales,” was set in a stable where horses and dogs are gathering for a fox hunt. As they met, they shared their life stories based on pieces of literature, including”Misty of Chincoteague,” “Black Beauty,” “Sea Biscuit” and “Call of the Wild.” These various story lines were portrayed by Jesters participants. Throughout the story, a fox tried to build a relationship with the horses/dogs, ultimately convincing them to cancel the hunt and creating opportunities to explore themes of friendship, love and loyalty. The Jesters program and this year’s performance are supported in part by a grant from the AWS Foundation.
- "And Then" - March 2013 - This performance used music, puppets, dance and theatre to explore stories of change and transformation as told through the voice of gardeners who witness the life cycle of a butterfly and the seasonal changes of the flower garden they are tending.
- Letters to Hal, March 2012- an original multi-media performance - “Letters to Hal” was a family-oriented performance created by Director Allison Ballard that uses poems by Shel Silverstein, music (instrumental and voice), language, visual arts, movement and theatre to explore a mosaic history of the Jesters and honor founder Hal Gunderson.
- Takin’ Time, March 2011- The Jesters 2010-2011 presented Takin’ Time, March 5 and 6, 2011 at the University of Saint Francis’ North Campus auditorium to an audience of 500. Scripted by Director Allison Ballard, Takin’ Time told a coming-of-age story that followed the Renegades as they ventured forth from their village and traveled through time to explore independence. The performance was attended by a combined total of 400 audience members and featured a cast of 34 people with disabilities. The effort was supported by a support team that included six local musicians, four student interns, 13 community volunteers and administrative/promotional support from the University of Saint Francis.
- DaisyJack, March 2010–The Jesters presented DaisyJack on March 6 -7, 2010 at the University of Saint Francis’ North Campus auditorium to a combined audience of 800. The show was performed by a cast of 37 Jesters ranging in age from 11 to 69. The show also featured three local performing artists and 15 volunteers who provided backstage support. DaisyJack is an original story about everyday men and women searching for the place where they belong. In this multi-media family-oriented production written by Director Allison Ballard, Daisy and Jack were fallen stars. Guided by the magical Menehunes, they traveled through emotional landscapes (Hound Dogs, Sundrops, Scaredy Cats and Meanies), hid from the Evil Queens, and encountered the Super Heroes as they tried to find their way home. Daisy and Jack watched through their “windows” (large door-sized frames the Jesters stood in while they performed) as the story unfolded through drama, rhythm, music, dance and visual arts.
- Roundabout, April 2009-The Jesters presented Roundabout April 19 and 19 at the University of Saint Francis’ North Campus auditorium to a combined audience of 400. Performed by the Jesters, a group of people with special needs, Roundabout is an original, family-oriented production that uses theatre, singing, live instrument accompaniment and dance to tell the age-old story of people in conflict who are challenged to learn to live together in peace. During the show, character groups Squares and Triangles stomp around the world seeking a treasure that is being carefully guarded by the Circles. Watching their rampage, the animals eventually intervene, creating an opportunity for peaceful resolution.