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Boy Scout putting on play for home-schoolers
A local Boy Scout in Troop 8222 is using his love for theater to earn his Eagle Scout award.
Kani Bergqvist, 17, is a home-schooled student who came to the United States from Sweden in 2003.
Bergqvist decided to produce a play performed by students from Home Educators of Yuma (HEY) to earn his Eagle Scout award, instead of building a structure for a local organization or cleaning up a local waterway.
"I was in HEY and one of the other members, Robin Williams, wanted to put on a play and I had an Eagle coming up, so I decided to produce the entire thing and found a building to perform it in," Bergqvist said.
The play, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," is based on a book that tells the tale of a group of six children who are undisciplined and rude. The juvenile delinquents are attracted to the church because they believe there will be free food which is handed out during Sunday School. They come and find themselves being drafted into a church Christmas play.
"The play is about bad kids who come to a church play and take all of the lead roles," Bergqvist said. "These kids don’t understand the Christmas story with Mary, Jesus and Joseph, so they improvise. Instead of bringing frankincense and myrrh, they decide to bring a ham to Jesus instead, because they think its more practical."
According to Bergqvist, the pageant is heading for disaster, but everything works itself out in the end.
The performance will begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Historic Yuma Theatre, 254 S. Main St. The event is free to the public.
The doors will open at 6 p.m. for a silent auction, which will benefit the Junior Optimists Octagon International (JOOI) club of Yuma.
For more information call 287-0495.
Bergqvist wanted to turn the show into a big event, and decided he wanted the play to be performed at the Historic Yuma Theatre. To rent out the building for one night costs $400, so Bergqvist set off to find the proper funding. He was even able to get $200 from the city of Yuma for his efforts.
"I wanted the Historic Yuma Theater so we could connect with the community," Bergqvist said. "I got a matching grant from the city of Yuma Arts and Culture Commission. Then I went around and found sponsors. The Vietnam Vets of America gave me $100, and I received another $100 from local businesses."
Bergqvist said he built part of the set himself.
"I'm not in the play but I am responsible for preparing the props. I got wood from the Home Depot, who donated $50 worth to build a backdrop and three benches for the play."
Bergqvist was involved in the scouting program in Sweden before emigrating to America.
"I have dual citizenship," he said. "The weather is much different there, and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are unisex, and there are no ranks. Scouts are divided by age. The king of Sweden is actually the highest Boy Scout, and I met him at the Swedish National Jamboree in 2007. I joined Swedish scouts, and when I moved to America I decided to try scouts here, and I liked it and stuck with it."
Bergqvist said he is glad he will finally earn his Eagle Scout.
"It feels pretty good. I am proud to finish it. I just want to see how everything comes together the day of the performance."
Bergqvist said he hopes there is a large audience at the performance.
"It is free and hopefully (the public) wants to meet the Home Educators of Yuma. HEY doesn't get much credit. It is made up of 50 local Christian families who home school their children," he said. "If everything goes right, it should be a funny play. This is a high school level play, and it's nothing professional, but it will be entertaining."
Chris McDaniel can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6849.