Some of the special needs students at Payson High School recently put on a play about the Musicians of Bremen Town, ranchers who no longer need these animals and are going to get rid of them. The animals consist of a donkey, two dogs, two roosters, and two cats. The Donkey, played by William Howard Mortis, decides to go to Bremen Town and be a musician.
Along the way, he meets the other animals who have also run away, but aren’t sure what to do. The donkey convinces the other animals to go with him. One by one they all agree and begin their journey.
After their first day, the animals chance upon a cottage used by robbers as a hide out. The cottage has plenty of food and the donkey figures out a way to scare the robbers off.
The creatures settle in for the night. The robbers decide to send one of their members back into the cottage to investigate. He is scratched by the cat, bitten by the dog, kicked by the donkey and crowed at by the rooster. Thinking it is a terrible witch, the robber runs out of the cottage, tells the other robbers what happened and they flee. The animals settle in and sing a song of happiness.
The actors wore make-up depicting their respective animals and were prompted throughout the two-act play and sang their respective parts with glee. At the end of the play the principals involved describe why they did the play and thanked those who participated. Some of the prompters had not worked with special needs students before and described it as a profound learning experience which they enjoyed immensely.
Cindy Sambrano, a music teacher and instructor of special needs students found the experience extremely helpful for the special needs students in expressing themselves more openly.
Bill Camp served as an American Sign Language translator for some members of the audience.