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Medieval Market entertains, amazes

The medieval times clashed with the 21st century in an array of colorful outfits and clamor of trinkets. Voices rang out from behind booths in attempts to entice onlookers to become buyers. The annual medieval market brought characters from the 1100s to life on April 1.

Terri Edmunds, 7th grade humanities teacher, had a vision for a living day of history before coming to campus.

“Before I began teaching, I attended a Civil War reenactment,” Edmunds said. “I thought it would be fun to have a day of living history in the school setting. When I was hired to teach seventh grade world history, I felt the unit on the middle ages would lend itself to a living day of history.”

Students are given one month to prepare for the market. During their preparation, they research life during the middle ages. They then select a role to carry out and create a market setting with wares or souvenirs to sell or barter.

Since the medieval market first began in 1994, junior high students have walked away with a better knowledge of the medieval times.

“It [Medieval Market] teaches students to use what they have learned,” Edmunds said. “I think that anytime you do something with what you have learned, you have a greater chance of remembering it!”

This year, the high school drama class performed plays during the market.

“The church is being remodeled and the chapel was not available so there was no place to have Mass,” Edmunds said. “Bible story dramatizations were often done for the annual market and for holy days. The Lord answered my prayers through the high school drama mystery plays.”

The drama class performed two plays that they modified from Biblical stories.

“They did David and Goliath and Samson,” Tom McEntee, drama adviser, said. “They were supposed to be traditional morality plays, but the students made them comedies.”

Even though McEntee was able to relax from the pressures of directing the class, he still felt the tension during the performances.

“It was a nice change,” McEntee said. “It was a student production, so I was able to sit back, watch and even pray when it started to look scary.”

Freedom from teacher direction, for some, may provide the opportunity for extended periods of relaxation.

“We sat and did nothing,” Jason Damm, ’06, said. “Mr. [Tom] McEntee didn’t force us to do anything. He said, ?work,’ and we did. It was really easy.”

Shaunna Miller, ’06, believes that the acts came together well within the given two-week time frame.

“It was hard because we had no teacher to help direct it,” Miller said. “We didn’t have much time to get the play on. Basically, we came up with it the day before. It turned out well, though.”

Even with the uncertainty of reactions from a younger audience, McEntee believes the plays ran successfully.

“It was geared for kids and reached the audience well,” McEntee said. “I thought our students received a great response.”

The plays not only thrilled the audience, but the actors as well.

“I enjoyed making them laugh,” Miller said. “It was definitely a memorable experience.”

Lady Edmunds has also built up many memories from eleven years of markets.

“The first year I was nervous and didn’t know if it would come together,” Edmunds said. “It was a tremendous success. The archers used the back of my chalkboard as a backdrop to their hay bale targets. Not many people had good aim. My chalkboard looked like swiss cheese!”

Edmunds has mixed feelings about continuing the market in future years.

“It is something that students look forward to from the time they first visit in 3rd grade,” Edmunds said. “It is a successful event and a great memory.”

The drama class will next hold a year-end wrap-up Dessert Theatre performance on May 6th in Ground Zero at 7 P.M.

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