February 18, 2020

A love for spelling, a love for this story, and a love for theatre. Who are we describing? Hawa! She’s playing Akeelah in our upcoming production of Akeelah and the Bee. And she’s absolutely perfect for the part!

Hawa is a 5th grader from Sartell Middle school, and although she’s been part of some of the GREAT Theatre camps, she had never been part of a bigger production. After talking with her Mom, she decided this year she’d like to see what it’s like.

“Then, we saw one of the plays GREAT was doing this year was Akeelah and the Bee and mom said, ‘Hawa! You ARE Akeelah, you HAVE to try out!”

You see, the story of Akeelah and the Bee isn’t one that’s new to Hawa. In fact, she’s been watching the 2006 film for years. It was a story she and her family enjoyed – plus, Hawa has a real knack for spelling. Even though English is her second language, spelling comes naturally to Hawa … quite impressive!

“It was hard to memorize all the lines and the tricky spelling words, but it helped repeating them and practicing with my Mom. There are a few kids I know from school in the show, but I’m making a lot of new friends. If someone was thinking about doing a play with GREAT Theatre for the first time, I’d tell them to give it a shot. It’s not always that scary and its a lot of fun!”

Oh, and the hardest word she conquers? “Triskaidekaphobia.” And yes, she had to spell that for us.