Students Put on Free Performances in East Orlando

The bare necessities are what students in Dramatic Education Inc.’s Castle Creek program will be thinking about on Thursday.

The students will be wrapping up their three-week program with an art exhibit, dance show and free performance of The Jungle Book Kids. The art exhibit will begin at 12:30 p.m. on June 25 and the performance will begin at 2 p.m.

The program is for students who are entering kindergarten through the sixth grade. There are students for many East Orlando schools including Castle Creek Elementary, Avalon Elementary, Stone Lake Elementary and East Lake Elementary.

“The students do drama, dance, and art,” says Marsha Robbins, the artistic director of Dramatic Education, Inc. “The students will be doing a full Disney Jungle Book Kids production with costumes, scenery and lights. They learn the music; they’re not singing on top of the tracks. They have full choreography and they’ll put that on for family and friends. “

The show is directed by a theater student at the University of Central Florida. The choreography is done by an East River high school graduate who will be attending UCF in the fall. The dance teacher is also a student at UCF. The art teach is a teacher from Castle Creek Elementary.

“What’s great about what we try to do at Dramatic Education is pick people from the community,” Robbins says.

Dramatic Education, Inc. has become a place where some student can return every summer.

“They’re like a family. And we have most of our kids come back every single year. I think I’ve had one family for a total of seven years, that’s my oldest family,” Robbins says. “They come from all over in the East Orlando community and they look forward to it every summer.”

The groups return to Dramatic Education, Inc. because it’s a place where students can foster creativity and grow their confidence, says Robbins. Students get to complete a show from start to finish and can walk away feeling accomplished.

“I think it’s just that you know that joy of something, that accomplishment of creating something so that they look forward to it every year,” Robbins says. “Between making it like a family and the fun that they have, they get the opportunity to not just do art or not just do dance and not just do theater. They get a chance to kind of do it all.”

As the group of returning students has gotten older and interest has risen in Dramatic Education Inc.’s summer program, it has added a program for middle school students. This program is for students entering the fourth grade through the ninth grade. That program will be held at East River High School and those students will be performing The Lion King.

“The students get a chance to pick what they want to be involved in,” Robbins says. “It will be a little bit more technical because it’s older students. They’ll be involved in drama, stagecraft, art, and what we call artist management, [which is] teaching them about marketing and social media.”

The program starts July 6 and runs for three weeks. It ends on July 23 with an art exhibit that opens at 12:30 p.m. and a free performance of The Lion King at 2 p.m. During the art exhibit, students will be selling their artwork.

By Ashley White