Sioux City journal story

The Sioux City Community Theatre presents a tale of self-sacrifice and love in its next Youth Theatre production “Healers in the Forest.”

The story tells the tale of Thomas (Matthew Griesel), a sick boy who meets Salinia (Morgan Bowman), a fairy-like creature only he can see. The two journey to a magical forest to meet the Healers, young children who have the gift of healing people just by dancing around them. However as they try to leave, they are confronted by Galowga (Benji Cotter), also known as “The Enemy of Happiness,” because he is burdened by a curse which makes it impossible for him to see love or beauty in anything except for poetry. When Thomas discovers his health has been restored and learns that Salinia made a deal to be the king's servant, he vows to right the injustice.

Written by John Kaasik of New York, director John Mangan first became aware of the play when he and colleague Kristy Tremayne were working with students from the Homer Public School on one of Kaasik's other plays for the state One-Act competitions.

“We won the Conference, won the District, and took it to the Nebraska State Competition in 2006,” Mangan recalled. “In his script John also mentioned 'Healers in the Forest,' and I wrote and ordered a copy.”

The theme of one person sacrificing everything he or she holds dear for a stranger drew Mangan immediately to the play.