Children’s Theatre to work with AES this year

Published 1:24 am Friday, August 17, 2018

The Andalusia Elementary School Drama Dawgs will use an Alabama Arts Initiative grant to bring the Birmingham Children’s Theatre to the school to teach acting classes this fall.

Cathy Powell, the music and art teacher at AES, said that the Birmingham theatre troupe will come to the elementary school several times during the fall to present their trunk shows, teach students to act and to help students put on a performance at the end of the school year.

“I wanted to bring in professionals for each club at AES,” Powell said. “So I started looking around and contacted the Birmingham Children’s Theatre and Rebecca Yeager, the person in charge of educational outreach. She took it from there.”

This year the children’s theatre will perform “Huckleberry Finn” for the third through sixth graders and “Rumpelstiltskin” for pre-k through second grade.

“I think it is absolutely wonderful for the group to be able to come down and teach acting to the students,” Powell said. “I don’t think the children understand how big of a deal it is, but that’s OK, they will enjoy it either way.”

The Drama Dawg club will be for third through sixth graders only because of financial reasons, Powell said.

“We have to use the grant for all of the clubs in club day, so we are trying to make sure it is used everywhere,” Powell said. “That being said, there will still be shows for all grades.”

The children’s theatre will also incorporate STEM learning into their teaching sessions.

“The professionals at the Birmingham Children’s Theatre are very forward thinking and will be trying to incorporate STEM into their lessons,” Powell said. “They will use technology to help enhance their drama skills.”

The Drama Dawgs are a part of the school’s Leader in club day initiative in which students can join different clubs.

Powell said that she is spending the first month of school finding out which clubs will be of interest to the students.

Some of the new clubs this year will include pottery and weaving, photography, book club, Andy Architects, puppet theatre, crime scene investigating, computer and coding and domino club.

“Since we got the grant from the Alabama Arts Initiative, we are trying to incorporate Alabama into every club,” Powell said. “Exploring Alabama Through the Arts will be the theme, so if a kid is in the book club, they will read 13 Alabama Ghosts, or if a kid is in pottery, they will use Alabama red clay for the pots.”

Powell said that the most important thing right now is to get everything lined up in order for the clubs to be organized.

“We have to make sure that everything is in order before we start everything,” Powell said. “That is what the first month is about, so we can get the money lined up and the supplies bought.”

For parents who are interested in their child working with acting professionals from the Birmingham Children’s Theatre make sure that they sign up for Drama Dawgs when they sign up for clubs.