The Lemont High School Drama Club took their act on the road last week for their annual winter children's play.
Students put on three performances Friday, Dec. 3, for students at River Valley and Central schools. They also traveled to Franciscan Village to provide entertainment for the seniors' weekly social gathering.
This year, students performed "Fairy Tale Courtroom," which tells the story of the Big Bad Wolf and Wicked Witch being prosecuted for their various crimes in fairy tale land. The play was about 45 minutes long, and was directed by students.
"With the children's play, we try to take a step back as directors and let the students have fun with it," said Drama Club sponsor Sharon Jacobs, who oversaw the production with Lemont High School German teacher Roy Nees.
About 20 students participated in all, Jacobs said. Typically, more seasoned actors serve as directors and producers of the children's play, while stage crew and underclassman take on the lead roles.
"They do everything from costumes to music to rehearsals," she said. "It's a great learning experience for them, and it's awesome to see them pull the production together."
When choosing the children's play, the directors usually looks for something short that will cater to the younger audiences.
"We want the plays to be more interactive so the kids and seniors can interact with the actors," Nees said. "This particular play had a lot of familiar characters and incorporated the audience at several points, so I think the audience really liked it."
Despite a long day of performances, Nees said the students enjoy being able to put on shows outside the school's Performing Arts Center.
"This type of thing shows them that they don't have to have a theater to do theater," he said. "They have a lot of fun."
During the club's last performance at the Franciscan Village senior living facility, the audience laughed and cheered at the students' comedic performances. The play was part of their weekly social gathering, which includes snacks and refreshments.
"They really love when the kids come here and do things like this," said Corrine Pope, a life enhancement assistant at Franciscan Village. "This play was a nice holiday treat for them."
Lucille Ortegel, 93, helps organize the social events for Franciscan Village every Friday. She said the drama club's performance was a special treat for residents, who enjoy visits from community youth groups.
"The kids did a wonderful job – they were so funny and professional," Ortegel said. "We were so glad and appreciative to have them bring their talents here."