El Morro receives the golden ticket from drama students


(Left to Right) juniors Kelsey Bailey, Chloe Bryan, and Will Purdy guide a group of elementary kids through their lines. The three, along with five others, extended a helping hand last Thursday with their production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Yuika Egan, News Editor

On Feb. 8, eight high schoolers involved in LBHS drama traveled to El Morro Elementary School to teach younger students about stage presence and offer other helpful acting tips as the 3rd-graders prepare for their upcoming production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

“As the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for K-5, I want to encourage lessons that not only fulfill the theater standards, but give students a unique hands-on experience,” said visual arts teacher Bridget Beaudry-Porter, who organized the special field trip. “The third grade teachers and I saw the need for students to understand how they can improve on stage. I wanted to collaborate with the LBHS drama students and let them teach their awesome acting skills to the third grade students,” said Porter.

In past years, El Morro hasn’t focused on full productions that include sets and scripts. Normally, the earliest formal introduction students have to theater is at Thurston Middle School, where  they have the option to take drama as an elective. The current production of the Roald Dahl  classic might spark a passion in the performing arts that some might not have realized they had.

“The performing arts program is vital for many students to be successful in school because it can give them a sense of community and an outlet for self expression. I have found that student engagement rises with Visual and Performing Arts units, and students retain more of the information they learned,” said Porter.

The kids were broken up into small groups and were assigned two or three high schoolers to work with them, making sure that each elementary student received personal guidance. Activities ranged from reading their lines out loud in front of their peers and listening to feedback, to light-hearted improv games that helped the kids come out of their shells.

“It was a great experience to work with the younger kids because it’s so important for children to get exposed early on. As a kid you don’t really know what you want, so you want to be open to all opportunities. I remember seeing the high school previews when I was in elementary school and thinking, ‘Oh I want to do that someday’ and ‘I want to be that kid,’ and now that I get to be in that position of taking on that leadership role, I feel so lucky to be a part of this special program,” said freshman Claire Tigner.