It’s been 27 months since we’ve had a chance to perform on the stage at Acadamie Lafayette Cherry Campus, but this week we were back!

Our After School Drama Club performed “Larry Spotter and the Dragons of Doom”. The kids were so excited to put on costumes, get up on stage, act and be silly, and get laughs and applause from the great audience.

(Lots of grandmas were there, so there was TONS of applause!)

It meant so much to see all of their smiling faces!

We have been teaching drama at AL for over twenty years now. In that time, we have seen hundreds of students get up on stage for the first time. To watch a young person who has never acted in a play before get their first laugh, their first round of applause, is a memorable moment.

Theater is not only a fun activity, it is a community. People working together to tell a story to an audience. Cooperation is everything in theater. Actors must communicate with one another in a scene.

Performers who are in acting classes for kids must work with the director to find the best way to act out a scene. Costume designers at summer drama camps have to work with the lighting designers to make sure the performers look just right. Communication is everything in the theater, and when it goes well, that is when shows come alive.

The first time a young person performs in a summer drama camp can be a truly magical experience. Kids put on plays in the living room for their families all the time, but getting up on a stage at a summer drama camp is the next step. When they start in the rehearsal room, many times, young actors are very nervous. They are unsure what it’s going to be like getting up in front of an eager audience. But oftentimes, the excitement of performing can quell any nervous jitters. When kids are performing plays that are funny and engaging, they can’t wait to get up and show their friends and family how dramatic they can be.

This is another example of the importance of theater in young people’s lives. The theater is an essential part of a young person’s education. Theater teaches kids a variety of skills. From communicating with others to problem-solving, the theater is an aspect of learning that all kids should experience.

The theater is an art form that is based solely on all aspects of communication. Whether it is written communication in the form of scripts or spoken communication in terms of lines, visual communication in terms of sets, costumes, and lighting, nonverbal communication in terms of funny faces and hilarious sight gags, the theater is all about the human story.

For thousands of years, communities have gathered together in theaters to tell tales. The theater has always been a very vital part of any society. As Shakespeare wrote, it is “the mirror we hold up to nature. To show virtue her own feature, scoring her own image, and a very agent body of the time his form and pressure.” The theater is the tool that we use to look at ourselves. It most closely reflects where we are as a culture and where we wish to go.

This is why it is important for young people to get involved in the theater. Nothing can engage all of the senses as a live performance can. When actors are up on stage, they are fully engaged. Their voices are tuned into their lines. Their minds are honed on the pretend situations of their characters. Their bodies move as if they were a dragon or a princess or a brave knight. When a young person is up on the stage performing in a play, they rely on all five of their senses to bring a character to life.

Theater of the Imagination is honored to offer summer drama camps. Our acting classes for children have been very popular for a long time, and we are very thankful to our supportive families for that. For over 25 years, we have been working with young people all over the Kansas City area to give them a full experience of acting, singing, and dancing on the stage in our Johnson County Summer Camps. We are honored that we get the opportunity to build self-esteem and approve self-confidence through the arts with our acting classes for kids.

We want to wish a heartfelt congratulations to all the kids of Lafayette Cherry campus for a fantastic production. We look forward to many more shows in the near future.

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