Drama group to produce elementary play

In McCulloch County there are a variety of extracurricular activities for children and many adult volunteers who help administer them. These activities offer youth a chance to discover who they are, what they enjoy and perhaps, what they may want to contribute when they are adults. Theater arts for children is an area untapped, to a large degree, in the local community; yet there are many local children who have a desire to develop through this imaginative outlet. As a way of broadening the minds of this youthful group, several parents, teachers and community members have devised a way to give the kids what they want. It’s called children’s Community Drama Group and the first production will consist of 20 fifth grade students from Brady Elementary. The first production will be presented to the public on Friday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Brady Elementary School cafeteria. The two plays to be presented are tales from “Happily Ever After” and are told by the Brothers Grimm. The first play of the evening will be “Prince Bristlebeard.” Cast members are Bryce Hanna, Adrian Clark, Christina DeFiore, Dana Fairchild, Shivani Patel, Chachi Gutierrez, Jon Langseth, Joseph Palacio, Ricky Huerta and Kelsey Atkinson. Cast members of the second play, “Luck Child,” are Tabatha Roper, Felicia Pierce, Jace Fincher, Chachi Gutierrez, Kelsey Atkinson, Joseph Palacio, Jameson Leatherwood, Dara Fairchild, Ricky Huerta, Tyler Campbell and Austin Reed. “The kids are really doing a great job learning their lines,” said program producer LeGrace DeFiore. “People are often afraid to get up and speak in public. We’re teaching these kids to overcome that obstacle at the age of 10.” Tickets to the first event are $2 each and may be purchased in advance at the Brady Standard-Herald office or at the N Business Journal. Seating is limited to 350 in the Brady Elementary School cafeteria, so advanced purchase of tickets is recommended. The coordinators of this program wholeheartedly see the need for theater arts for children. Their desire is to develop a program starting with a relatively small, manageable-sized group of students, create a successful beginning with a few and allow the program to evolve as greater interest develops for other children and additional parent volunteers. The children’s drama group is coached by Jan Gardner, Dana Whisenhunt, LeGrace DeFiore, Marsha Finley and Steve Butler. The scope of development is 10 one-and-one-half hour sessions followed by a general timeline for producing a play. Participation in theater arts benefits children in a number of different ways: ‘Self esteem can be enhanced. ‘Children learn to adapt new situations more easily. ‘Better problem solving skills can be developed. ‘Children gain greater confidence in public speaking. ‘Listening skills are strengthened. ‘Interacting with others can become more comfortable. ‘Cooperation skills are enhanced. ‘Ability to write and verbally communicate can be improved. ‘Children learn to express themselves with their voice and bodies more effectively. The program coordinators are committed to the Children’s Community Drama Group continuing to develop, attracting a larger audience of participants, coaches and supporters. “Based on our experience of the current process, we see that there is indeed interest,” said Mrs. DeFiore. “We envision the production of several programs each year. “We believe the entire community will benefit from the Children’s Community Drama Group. Live performances, especially those done by children, greatly assists the development of each child involved; they warm the hearts of parents, family, friends and all who experience them. Moveover, there’s not a better advertisement for the Heart of Texas to visitors than for them to see that there are wonderful, life-enriching experiences for the youth of the area.” According to Mrs. DeFiore, this is a privately funded organization, so any contribution to the drama club will be greatly appreciated. Checks may be made payable to Children’s Community Drama Group. Contributions may be mailed to 2112 Stanton, Brady, Tex. 76825. For more information, contact Mrs. DeFiore at 597-0684.

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