Royal Palm Players, Kids’ Drama Club performance this Friday

Kids Drama PosterBY SUE ERWIN – Catch a glimpse of the youngest stars on the island at a performance this Friday at the Boca Grande Community Center.

Royal Palm Players will present “Hats Off to You,” a fun improvisational show starring more than 20 children from The Island School Drama Club. The performance will be inside the auditorium at 5:30 p.m.

Erica Ress Martin is on the Royal Palm Players Board of Directors and helped orchestrate the show along with Cheryl Hopkins, Sally Johnson and Priscilla Masselink. Kerrill Taylor and Judi Fredman have also been very involved with organizing the event.

“Our weekly improv classes gained a big following, but Jean Thompson noticed that the older children were getting bored watching the younger children try to catch on to the theater games we were playing. So, she asked us to divide the group in half and alternate the older kids one week, and the younger kids the next. That worked out much better for all of us,” Ress Martin said.

About 30 children participate in the youth drama club.

“We have different exercises for each age group. And frequently, we allow the children to request what they want to do. They have learned to listen, to think on their feet and most of all, they have all gained confidence,” Ress Martin said.

At the performance on Friday, the younger group will be performing a few simple exercises on stage as animals.

“You’ll be amazed at how their concentration improves when they are not focusing on being themselves,” Ress Martin said.

The older group will be picking animal hats out of a bin. They will then perform every sketch as the animal they picked. Then they’ll pick again, and change characters.

The Royal Palm Players will offer up to 10 scholarships for the older children to go to a local theater summer camp. Last year the group sent five children to camp, and they returned to school excited to start the theater program again.

The show will last approximately 30 minutes and is free, followed by a “Pizza with the Stars” party. The pizza, soda and ice cream will also be free.

The event is sponsored by a grant from the Boca Grande Woman’s Club.

For more information on Royal Palm Players, visit royalpalmplayers.com.