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Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine celebrates 100 years

The weekend event finished Sunday with plays written and performed by youth actors. Organizers say 100-year celebrations will continue through the year.
Credit: Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine

PORTLAND, Maine — The Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine celebrated 100 years of bringing the arts to Maine's youth over the weekend, with several plays written and performed by youth actors, some of which were as young as 7 years old.

"It feels like I'm a separate person, and it's where my imagination comes to life," Sal Butcher said.

Butcher acted in a play as a wild animal that escaped a zoo, his mom, Julie Butcher Pezzino, filmed and cheered him on.

"I feel proud of my child for sure, but all of these kids ... joy is something that the arts brings to people, and with all the news and all the crazy things in this world we're always looking for opportunities to bring joy and enthusiasm," Butcher Pezzino said.

Pezzino is also the executive director for the Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine and said the past two years spent in their new facility have been wonderful.

"The arts across the board are so important for kids' creativity ... we learn by doing we learn by creating we learn by imagining," Pezzino said.

"I really like acting because it makes me feel like a different person," Annabelle Beam, who acted in a youth play, said. "No one can judge me because I'm doing a play, and I can put myself into it."

Mabel Peterson acted in two plays Sunday. One was about two lobstermen being pulled over by police, and another where she and a friend get lost on a school field trip.

"It feels really good because you are a part of something," Peterson said. "You can also make it fun by giving that person more personality traits."

For Tanner Pines, he starred in a play about expressing emotions.

"I feel how I feel, you feel how you feel," He chanted with his co-star. The rest of the audience was able to sing along with them too as the play went on.

"It's a way to express yourself while expressing someone else, combine the two to just have some fun," Pines said.

Sloan Willows is another youth talent, who just at the age of 10 wrote a play.

"To choose the type of story is nice, you might write such as a romance or adventure it's just really nice," Willows said.

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