Sponsors Ashley Doty and Greta Hurley founded the Drama Club at Thousand Oaks Elementary School in 2012. Each year, students fill out applications to join the club and then try out for the roles they are interested in. Next, the sponsors select high-interest plays to accommodate the number of roles needed based on the number of students who have applied. This year, they chose “The Little Mermaid.”
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the sponsors were eager to jump back in this year. Xenia Adrian and Pam Stevenson joined the team as sponsors to further strengthen the program.
"Having my own son and daughter major in drama in college, I saw the importance of helping students step out of their comfort zone for public speaking opportunities," said Stevenson. "Seeing students blossom and inspired to develop their own creative voice has been priceless and worth every minute spent with them!"
The Drama Club chose props for their under the sea adventures, and the stage was decorated with lights and streamers thanks to the Thousand Oaks PTA. The school also used grant money to purchase stage curtains. After weeks of rehearsals, students performed one show for parents and one for the campus.
"Drama is something I am very proud to be a part of and started here at Thousand Oaks," said Doty. "When I was young, I remember not being allowed to be in Drama Club because I wasn't loud enough. I felt it was important to provide drama as an opportunity to teach them the skills needed in middle school theatre. We have a spot for everyone. I see the kids gain so much confidence in themselves and it makes all the hard work worth it when they get to perform for friends and family."
"This is my 10th year to co-sponsor the Drama Club," added Hurley. "As sponsors, we have truly worked together on all duties and aspects of the club. There is nothing more rewarding than watching these kids grow and become more confident in all areas of their life because of the involvement in drama!"