Drama brings children’s stories to the big stage

Drama members bid farewell to students from Evergreen Elementary School as they leave the school after the conclusion of the Children’s Theater. The event was Tuesday through Friday, starting on Jan. 19.

Pauline Villegas, Asst. A&E Editor


Diamond Bar High School’s advanced drama department has lifted the curtain, dimmed the lights, and yet again shined on stage in their annual performance of Children’s Theater.

Lead by the head of the drama department, Beatrice Casagran, the advanced drama students each helped to write plays based on storylines straight from the minds of local children.

From Jan. 19 to 22, the drama department performed five short plays to elementary school kids within the district.

Each of the stories was written by children from local elementary and middle schools.

The department then picked the five stories that they enjoyed the most and transformed them into plays.

The performance also allowed the actors to see what interests children.

Each submission was written by someone under the age of thirteen, which gave the show a youthful vibe.

“It has taught me what kids like. It has also taught me the different energy levels in theater. For first graders, we needed to amp the energy level up 100 percent until it almost feels ridiculous. That is something that is still a learning curve for all of us,” senior Julianna King said.

The team has been working on the event since November. After each play was written, it was sent to stagecraft and tech to begin the behind-the-scenes process.

Although the show’s main purpose was to promote acting as a possible interest to the kids, it was also a learning process for the students involved.

Each play was co-written and co-directed by two drama members, allowing the students to get a feel of the play-making process.

“Being a part of the process, I have learned that if you and your partner put a lot of effort into one particular idea than you can create something that you are both proud of,” senior Austin Mooney said.

The five plays were  titled “Guava Hunt,” “Three Crows and a Scarecrow,” “Bullied,” “Potato Problem,” and “Danny’s Friends.” Each play was written to help the the audience learn a moral lesson.

For example, the first play, “Guava Hunt,” was about three children who attend a sleepover and discover that they shouldn’t judge someone based on their looks, encouraging the children to get to know someone first before judging based on appearances.

Another play, “Danny’s Friends,” was about a boy named Danny on a farm. The bank takes the farm away, until Danny receives one wish from the god of the forest for being kind to nature.

With his one wish, his parents are able to keep the farm and Danny is able to stay with all of his animal friends.

“What I hope the children that were apart of it learned is that they have the ability to be apart of something creative from a young age, and that their stories were a building block in creating this amazing and fun show that people will get a chance to see,” King said.

Some elementary school students joined the actors on stage and play small roles in each play, allowing the students to explore their interest in drama.

After the play, the students met the actors and share their opinions. Each child walked out ready to let their fellow classmates know what they thought of the play, and all received high-fives and big smiles from the cast members.

“What inspired me to perform to the kids is the fun in it. There’s a magic when performing on stage, and children’s shows have a certain kind of energy that is really fun and addictive,” Mooney said.

The drama department also performed a matinee showing on Jan. 22, giving families the opportunity to see what their child was working on.