A few hundred budding actors and students of Drama Kids of Loudoun are putting on end-of-year performances over the next several weeks.
The performances are a chance for students at the theater school to showcase what they’ve learned in after-school workshops held throughout the school year.
Kids from the drama school will perform three plays in 10 showings over the next two weeks. The first showing was Thursday, May 12; about 50 friends and family members of the young performers gathered around the stage at Loudoun Country Day School.
“We’re happy to have you here for the performance of ‘The Cleanest Town in Texas,’” Drama Kids Director Jen Drake told the audience before the show. “The students put a lot of hard work into it and I’m very proud of them.”
“The Cleanest Town in Texas” is the play Drama Kids’ third- through fifth-grade students are performing. Students in kindergarten through second grade will perform “The Grasshopper and the Ants,” and Drama Kids’ Acting Academy, for middle and high school students, will perform “Murder at Mornington Manor.” Each play is written and copyrighted by Drama Kids International. The performances are open to the public, but are generally meant for friends and family of the students.
Drama Kids has 290 students enrolled this year. From September through February, most of those students take part in after-school classes that include lessons in improv, voice projection and stage presence. “It really builds confidence both on stage and off stage,” Drake said. “We like to say not every kid is going on to Broadway, but every kid is going to need to speak publically in their life.”
By early March, the students receive play scripts and begin working on their end-of-year productions. A few weeks after the standard classes and productions wrap up, Drama Kids offers weeklong summer theater camps, both full day and half day options. “There’s a larger emphasis on the fun and silliness of theater in our summer camps,” Drake noted.
This month’s productions bring to a close a busy and successful year for Drama Kids. Drake bought the Loudoun franchise last June after working at the drama school for three years. The school has since seen demand for drama classes tick up.
“We pretty much doubled everything—student numbers and class numbers,” Drake said, “and I’m hoping to expand more next year.”
Learn more at dramakids.com/va4.