School community pitches in for play
BY LISA GRICE / SPECIAL TO THE RECORD
Columbia Elementary School Drama Club presented four performances of Seussical, Jr. May 19 and 20 with the financial support of the PTA and the leadership of Terrena Mann.
Mann is involved in local community theater and is a CES parent and volunteered to be the Drama Club’s Director.
When Mann and the club’s teacher sponsor, Lisa Grice, decided to hold auditions to determine the musical’s 20 lead roles, they had no idea there would be such an outpouring of interest. Sixty-seven fifth and sixth grade students lined the halls one afternoon in October.
Later in the year Mann joined forces with our school chorus, lead by the school’s music teacher, Sara Clark. When the students returned from Spring Break, Mrs. Mann, with the help of teacher sponsor, Alison Carvalho, added a Whoville Chorus comprised of the school’s kindergarten through fourth grade students. The Drama Club, Whoville Chorus, and Clark’s chorus met separately for an hour once a week, and they finally rehearsed together for a week leading up to the performances.
Mann and the students’ parents all pulled their resources together to provide the club with props, sets and costumes. The makeup was provided and applied by a Birmingham Southern College student, Caleb Grissett, Fantasy Playhouse’s Wynn Oldham and local performer Eddanette Nieves.
As Mann spoke to the audience, which filled every chair that could fit safely in the school’s “cafetorium,” she explained that she could give many statistics about the benefits of music in our public schools. However, she expressed that the evidence she witnessed over the school year made her endeavor extremely rewarding.
“Parents and teachers would tell me about gained confidence, new friendships, and better academic performance that was evident in their students,” Mann said.
Mann also encouraged the audience to volunteer wherever they can.