Text by Park Colfield
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We started our trip with a nice dinner at the Fairport Family Restaurant, with the board members of our community partner, the Finnish Heritage Museum. I think we all ordered the fresh grouper. It was a lovely opportunity to introduce the museum to our new team members, to catch them up with the recent development for the project, and to hear about all of the snow that covered Fairport this past winter!
The following day, we gathered at Fairport Harding High School for a reading of the first draft of the play. We had a great turn out and many of the people who joined us were the same individuals who participated and shared their stories in the story circles we hosted in Fairport last May. We assigned everyone who wanted to participate a part and casually read the script together from start to finish. The play is fictional, but there are a few parts inspired by specific people's ancestors-- so we made sure those people got to read those lines! It was an incredible experience to be surrounded by so many familiar faces and to hear the play out loud for the first time.
The photo below shows a part of the group reading the play.
Park doing his playrwrite thing.
Park explains major points in the script to readers. Left to right: Tim Hadden, Helen Hadden, Virpi Buck, Ann Pohto, Richard Knuth, Park Colfield, Donna Leiczacek, Gene Colfield, and FHS play director Kyle Lorek.
Shown are three Finns who really enjouyed the afternoon's reading. Lef to right, Virpi Pakkala Buck, Ann Pohto, and Richard Knuth. interestingly enough, Park's grandfather built his homestead adjacent to Ann Pohto's present dwelling. Richard too commented that as names came up in the text of the play, he said, "I remember her, I lived really close to them when I was growing up."
Photos © Bill Lukshaw & V.Malkamaki