Drama Techies and Elementary School Musicals

C. Audrey Harper, Writer, Photographer

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The Zompa Auditorium is usually home to the shows of the Bob Jones Patriot Players, but for the next two weekends, the Rainbow and Columbia Elementary Drama Clubs will be performing musicals.

Rainbow Elementary Drama Club will be presenting “The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood” on Friday, January 26th at 6 pm and the following day at 2 pm. Tickets are free.

Kylie Veysey, a 4th grader at Rainbow Elementary and a member of the Drama Club, said, “I really love singing and dancing and I thought maybe I should try something new.”

This show is in collaboration with Fantasy Playhouse and the first time the Rainbow Drama Club has ever performed off-site.

Bre’ana Robinson, a 6th grader at Rainbow Elementary and a member of the Drama Club, said, “I had heard about [the musical] from a few friends and I have always wanted to be an actor. This as a big opportunity for me. I would love to do theatre at Bob Jones.”

The Bob Jones technical theater, the “techies” are assisting with the show, running lights, and sound, or stage managing, like Junior Carmen Retzer.

Retzer said, “Being able to work with all different age ranges is important because you’ll be able to know how to address and how to teach different people when you’re not performing.”

Bob Jones students are even helping with costumes.

“If you are passionate about the subject, why not teach and show younger kids how to do it? “ Serena Davis, a Bob Jones junior and a costumer for Columbia’s show, said. “For me, helping backstage and with costumes for an elementary school, shows younger kids that there is more to drama then acting on stage.”

The Columbia Drama Club will be presenting “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” on Friday, February 2nd at 7 pm and the following day at 2 pm and 7 pm. Tickets are $7 and can be bought at the door or online.

Davis said, “Costuming for Bob Jones is very different then costuming for an elementary school. While most high school productions involve costumes for the decades, most elementary schools, like Columbia, do a more magical, fantasy time play. [Which allows me to make] the costumes fun and imaginative.”

This is not the first time Columbia performed offsite. Last year CES performed Mulan Jr. at James Clemens High School, as well as performing Willy Wonka Jr. and the Wizard of Oz in previous years.

Hannah Taylor, co-director of Alice in Wonderland Jr., said, “It is a wonderful experience for our kids to get to see the technical side of the theater when we get to tech week and our shows. It shows them that even if they don’t want to act and sing there are many other facets of theater.”

Columbia Elementary donated money to the Drama department, which will go to funding the participating techies trip to the Southeastern Theatre Conference in March, where Advanced Production will compete with their show, The Recovery Act. 

There are some kids that would like to do theater when they get to high school, we have some very talented kids! [For] a lot of kids it is a way to experience something different and have an outlet for creative energy,” Taylor said. “It teaches the kids how to work as a group, how to be respectful of those who you are working with, and how to speak in front of a large audience.  I think it is also great for self-confidence.”

Everyone is welcome to watch the shows and support Rainbow and Columbia Elementary’s drama programs.