Drama Club ready to rock

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 8, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The Drama Club at Demopolis High School will present &8220;Schoolhouse Rock Live! Junior,&8221; a performance made possible by a grant from the Demopolis City Schools Foundation, Thursday and Friday.

This year, DHS was awarded a Black Belt Arts Initiative grant by the Alabama State Department of Education. The grant, almost $60,000 over a five-year period, will allow DHS teachers and students a chance to integrate arts into all areas of the curriculum and partner with the Demopolis community to continue to focus on the arts as a learning tool.

To integrate the learning aspect of the grant with the performance, 345 students from U.S. Jones Elementary School will attend a special matinee performance to hear the educational tunes used from old &8220;Schoolhouse Rock&8221; shows.

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White initially wrote the grant in hopes of giving students such opportunities to work with theater professionals in their area and this performance will be one of the first to utilize the outside assistance of a professional. White and John Brown, the director of choral music at the University of West Alabama, have been working with the students for several weeks in preparation for this week&8217;s performances.

White said the performance is a musical about Tom, a young teacher, who is at home nervously preparing for his very first day on the job. To relax, he watches television and is surprised to see &8220;Schoolhouse Rock,&8221; a 1970s educational animated series.

Five people suddenly appear in Tom&8217;s house. Manifestations of the different sides of Tom&8217;s personality, they have gathered to give him the confidence he needs and to show him how to win his students over with imagination and music. By the time the show is over, Tom is ready to face his first day of school.

The DHS drama department will continue to expand through the grant. In addition to the introduction to theater class, a new class, play production, will be available to students in the fall and a new organization called the Tiger Arts Guild (TAG) is being formed at DHS. TAG will be comprised of students involved in all arts disciplines: visual arts, music, and drama.

Performances of &8220;Schoolhouse Rock Live! Junior&8221; will be held for the general public Thursday and Friday in the DHS auditorium. Curtain is at 7 p.m. and tickets are $5. Tickets are available at Demopolis High School and may also be purchased the evening of the performance.

Proceeds from &8220;Schoolhouse Rock Live! Junior&8221; will be donated to the Demopolis City Schools Foundation, TAG, and the DHS Drama Club. Others interested in contributing to TAG may contact White at 334-289-0294.

Information from a press release was used in this article.