Student Drama Club to perform ‘Alice in Wonderland JR’ musical March 27-28
The Drama Club at Fort Irwin Middle School is preparing for their biggest production. Approximately 40 students in the club will be participating in three renditions of the musical “Alice in Wonderland JR,” March 27 and 28.
The March 27 productions will occur from 3 – 4 p.m., for a school audience, and from 5 – 6 p.m. for the Fort Irwin community. On March 28, the club will put on a third performance from 5 – 6 p.m. for the community. The location will be the FIMS gym and admission is free.
The Drama Club is in its second year of existence, but only recently did it achieve Associated Student Body status, said Mike Sullivan, principal of FIMS. The added designation allows the club to fundraise for materials, costumes and props. The club has obvious advantages for the students as well.
“These kids are engaged,” Sullivan said. “There getting to do something they want to do and they’re being supported, while doing it.”
Sullivan added that school doesn’t have to be entirely about academics and that educators should be able to discover students’ hidden talents and nurture them.
Laura Breeden, a physical education teacher at FIMS and the Drama Club instructor, said that the student performers will be reciting lines, singing and following choreography. The group rehearses everyday after school. One of the challenges the Drama Club students are facing is committing to the rehearsals. It has been a great learning experience for them, Breeden said.
“They become very involved with a group,” Breeden said. “They’re working together, They’re learning cooperation and it’s good brain food – there’s a lot of memorization of lines. Some of them are singing, so they’re working with music.”
Seventh grader, Ashton Miller, 12, will be playing the Caterpillar in the musical. She auditioned for the role and feels that it fits her personality – bubbly. One of her lines will be, “Don’t worry be happy.”
Alice Laybourn, 12 and in the sixth grade, described her role of a Violet flower as being sassy. She said being in the drama club gives her a chance to be someone else.
“I really like performing,” Alice said. “I like being somebody I’m not.”
Haylee Azuras, a 12-year-old sixth grader, is acting for the first time and is a little nervous, she said. She will be playing Matilda, Alice’s sister. Haylee wants to perform to break out of her shell. Her peers inspired her to get involved.
“My friends said it’s an opportunity for me to get out there and have fun,” Haylee said.
Haylee’s mom, Tammy Azures, said the Drama Club is a great venue for children to meet other kids and to become socially acceptable in a new environment.
One student who is motivating others during rehearsals is Anya Smith, 13, who is the president of the club. She is playing Alice and knows her lines, said Breeden.
“Alice – she’s already into her role,” Breeden said. “She has her lines memorized and it’s very inspiring to the others, who are trying to get into their roles.”
Anya said she loves acting; and she cherishes her friends in the Drama Club.
“My buddies at drama club – I love very much.”