Actors in Motion, Adams’ Drama Club, raised money through various performances to provide a bus and entrance fees for all students who wanted to attend the competition. Competitors were Katherine Cheng (gold/silver), Abby Eelsing (gold/silver), Kaylin Morford (gold/silver), Cassie Moronez (gold/silver), Jada Campbell (silver/bronze), Taylor Flory (gold/bronze), Ariel Ryan-Threatt (bronze/bronze), Ashley Burgdoerfer (bronze/bronze), Rachel Rodriguez (bronze/bronze), Lexi Aguilar (bronze/bronze), Harmony Ayers (bronze), Keith Belk (bronze), Christina Lee (bronze), Hailey Legge (bronze), Kyle Marshal (bronze), Madison Mills (bronze), Alejandro Miramontes (bronze), Olulani Oisaghie (bronze), Jenifer Romero (bronze), Rachel Rodriguez (bronze), Gary White (bronze) and Taylor Yahne (bronze).
“We did not come home empty handed,” said drama teacher Donna Mendez. “All students earned medals, and as a group we earned the Ovation Trophy for Spirit and Spunk.” Medal winners are eligible to perform at the annual California Youth in Theatre Day March 24, 2009 at the state capitol.
“Our theatre students really shined at the festival, bringing home not only their award medals, but memories of an experience they will never forget,” said Mendez. “It takes a lot of confidence to perform in front of judges. Our students stepped up and did their best. The entire community should feel proud of their accomplishments.”
Mendez emphasized that Adams students learn essential skills in drama and music classes that translate into many other disciplines. “Every job requires communication and cooperation, and these are fundamentals of performing arts. Theater training is not just about preparing students to join California’s third-largest industry, entertainment; it also teaches self confidence, discipline and creativity. If the benefited outcome is better test scores, then we should make it a priority to keep our programs. I am extremely proud of what our kids can do.”
Mendez added that College Entrance Examination Board data from 2001-05 shows that student actors, musicians and artists consistently perform well above others on the Stanford Achievement Test, the most widely used entrance exam for college and university admissions. Research funded by the Arts Education Partnership in 2002 reported positive outcomes in reading and language development by students with training in dramatic skills such as role-playing and performance.
Mendez expressed hope that “in these times of economic cutbacks, we remember that enrichment programs like drama, music and art should remain essential to our community.”