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Girls' play shows character counts

January 15, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The four girls, ages 8 to 10, aren't entirely sure how to become a professional actress, but they've certainly taken the initial steps.

They've penned, rehearsed and performed a play about how stealing can destroy a friendship, relying heavily on the traits taught in Character Counts! at their elementary school.

"It's kind of like being respectful for each other and responsible. It's almost all the Character Counts! pillars," said Sarah Bain, 10.

Sarah and her friends attend Summitview Elementary School and participate in an after-school program run by the Waynesboro Area YMCA. They finished the play early this week and performed it a few times for teachers, parents and fellow after-school students.

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Each performance has gotten better, they said.

"The first time we did it we got pretty nervous. (Now) we feel really comfortable around people when we first get into it," said Madison Bennage, 9.

Kaila Gyorgy, 8, said the biggest challenge has been learning to project her voice from stage.

In the play, one girl steals a Nintendo DS game from another. A third girl, who is aware of the theft, at first keeps the name of the thief a secret, but later comes clean.

The ending - the girls' favorite part - involves the trio talking out and resolving the problems, followed by a couple hugs.

Their latest initiative has been to collect money at the end of the show for an eventual donation to the Antietam Humane Society.

"We love animals. We raised about $19," Madison said, later amending that amount after an extra donation from Kaila's father.

"I think it's terrific," Dave Gyorgy said, especially praising the girls' efforts to donate to charity and their play's theme.

"They need to learn to respect other people's property," he said.

The girls hope to use their next play as a way to collect items for recycling, Alexis Shuman, 9, said.

Alexis doesn't necessarily see herself as a budding thespian.

"I'll probably be President of the United States. I want to change some stuff," she said.

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