Adam Blake Wright Receives Focus Grant for Educational Children's Play

January 14, 2017

Daniel Trone (Hansel), Lena Menefee-Cook (Gretel), Adam Kroksh (Jack) and Ashley Diaz (Goldilocks) star in the Nov. 2 reading of "Magically Modified Grimm's."

Adam Blake Wright (MS) has earned a 2017 Focus Grant to produce his originally-written children’s play Magically Modified Grimm's, a comedic fairy tale mash-up set in the world of 21st-century agriculture. Awarded on an annual basis by the Iowa State University Student Activities Center, Focus Grants finance outstanding student projects in the visual, literary and performing arts—Wright will use his newly received funds to present his play next spring at the Ames Public Library, as well as several local elementary schools.

“I’m so excited to share Magically Modified Grimm's with the greater Ames community, and I’m equally thankful to the Focus Grant Committee for its financial support in bringing this play to life,” Wright said. “By combining storytelling, rap, dance and puppetry in an entertaining and educational way, my play aims to foster agricultural literacy in today’s youth. I look forward to seeing how audiences react to the piece and hope it encourages children to develop a deeper relationship with food and farming.”

Written and developed as part of Wright’s graduate thesis, the play follows Jack, Goldilocks, Hansel and Gretel as they grow “magically gigantified orbs” (MGOs) sold to them by the mysterious Mr. Wolfe. Wright recently collaborated with director Vivian Cook and a cast of students from the Theatre Department to present a live reading of the play at the Sustainable Agriculture Colloquium, after which they received questions and feedback from the audience. Cook will continue to direct the play next spring, while many of the cast members plan to remain in their roles.

“I am thrilled to be able to work on Magically Modified Grimm's with Adam and to be able to share his story with the community,” Cook said. “Stories are one of the most effective ways of communicating and provoking discussion about complicated issues in our society, and Grimm's addresses some of the most crucial questions our culture needs to ask about our health, the environment and establishing sustainable habits that will ensure personal, economic and environmental success for our futures. These questions are ones often neglected in our modern education systems, but ones that are necessary for children and all of us to ask.”