In Dec. 9 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Editor
The Russell County Schools 21st CCLC Afterschool Children's Theatre presented their first live performance ever on Friday as they brought "A Snow White Christmas" to life in the schools' auditorium.
"The kids were outstanding," said Michelle Roy, a teacher at the middle school who helped with various aspects of the performance. "We had more than 90 cast members and they were enthusiastic about the play."
A total of 94 K-6th grade students from Russell Springs, Jamestown, Salem and Union Chapel participated in the play.
There were three performances on Friday, with the first two during the school day for students while the third began at 7 p.m. and was open to the public.
The first showing was witnessed by 730 students; the second show was seen by 650 while the community show was seen by 420 for a total of 1,800, according to Susan Melton, the director of the Russell County Schools Auditorium.
"The three performances went off without a hitch," Michelle Coe said. During the first two performances, Roy said that student from all four local elementary schools as well as some students from other school districts, including Adair County, viewed the play.
During the final performance of the day, the general public gave the students a standing ovation for their hard work.
"I couldn't have asked for a better group of kids," Coe said. "They worked hard, they were focused and they enjoyed themselves at the same time."
She said the audience's response, which included laughter, "oooh's" and "aaah's" helped those in the play strive to do their best.
Those in the play actually had to audition for the speaking parts and those that did not receive speaking parts were cast as one of the 60 non-speaking parts as to try and not turn anyone away.
"We had outstanding support from our schools," Coe said. "We had great staff members that worked diligently every day and we had outstanding community members that donated their time."
She said these first performances were learning experiences for the 21st Century Afterschool program.
"We're hoping to have performances twice a year, in the fall or winter time and again in the spring," she said. Such programs are all funded through grants received by the afterschool program.
"We had lots of positive responses about this one," Coe said. "They were impressed with our scenery and the costumes."
"Everybody jumped in and it was a great group effort," she said. "It was really a huge undertaking but it all fell perfectly in place … we're definitely going to do it again."
The Afterschool staff was amazed at the number of students interested, according to Melton.
"Due to the interest we wanted all students to have some part in the program," Melton said. "Programs such as this helps kids manage down time and provides a positive atmosphere that is safe and drug free, the number one goal for the 21st Century program."
Melton said Russell County truly has talented students who have the courage to showcase their abilities with the 21st Century program as their platform.
"We are fortunate to have the following, who put in an enormous amount of time to ensure a quality program," she said.
Play Directors: Hannah Johnson and Stephanie Johnson
Costume & Prop Coordinator
Charlie Roy & Russell County Vocational School Students
The Volunteer Set Painters and Designers
Ginger Smith-Jenny Heathman-Bruce & Barb Harford
Bus Transportation Coordinator
Sound & Lighting Technicians
Cheryl Robertson & Matthew Lunsford
Behind the Scenes
Anissa Hammond-Jan Brumley-Sherry Coffey-Debbie Whittle-Patsy Hadley-Sandy Abernathy-Sharon Wariner-Travis Dixon-Josh Hammond-Stephanie Jones-Candi O'Dell-Danielle Murray-Hannah Connor-Linda Cooper-
Russell County High School Y-CLUB Students and the Russell County Board Of Education members and Superintendent Kenny Pickett for their continuing support of the programs.