by: Morgan Guess
From the classroom to center stage, Oak Grove’s community-based classes continue to enchant the students and faculty that have the privilege of working with them. For the second year in a row, Warriors Take a Bow has had the opportunity to put on a play which they then performed in for their fellow peers and beloved families. This year they did a production of Snow White and the Eight Dwarves on March 22. The play was performed in the morning for all of the special education students at the primary and elementary schools and then in the evening for everyone else. The turn out was around 300-350 people who came to support – far more in attendance than last year’s play.
The idea for Snow White was sparked at the end of last year’s play, The Wizard of Oz. Amber Williams, a student in the community-based class, requested that they do Snow White because the story is her favorite. The rest of the class thought it was a great idea because it gave all the special education students a chance to have a part and become involved. Williams’s dream has always been to play Snow White. “I love her, and I love her dress,” Williams said. After she was chosen to play Snow White, it wasn’t long before the other students chose their parts as well. Allen Jones, who played Prince Charming in the play, said, “Dancing with Snow White was my favorite!”
The students of the community-based classes worked a long and hard two months for the play to come together. “It’s a huge collaboration project; everyone helps,” teacher Stacey Todd said. There were a lot of people who helped make the production possible. According to teacher Carmen Swilley, who helped make the majority of the props, said that the hardest part for the students was learning their lines. “Once they memorized the lines, the hardest part was saying them loud enough,” Swilley said. Many general education students volunteered to help with the play. They dressed in all black to blend in with the stage curtain and stayed close behind the actors in case they needed to whisper lines to them or to help them stay in character. “Our stage hands really made the show,” Swilley said.
Since this is the second year they have put on a play, the special education teachers were able to improve from last year’s trials and errors and produce an excellent show. Todd said her favorite part about doing the play is watching everything come together. “There are so many people that helped make this possible: Ms. Swilley, Sydney Sanders, who is the Junior Civitan Club president, Ms. Hogue, and many, many more,” Todd said.
As far as next year’s play goes, “I keep thinking bigger,” Ms. Todd, who was recently named Lamar County Teacher of the Year, said. “I’m hoping next year to maybe do Aladdin or Robin Hood to give the play a male lead,” Todd said. The community can’t wait to see what surprises are in store for the classes’ play for next year. Nothing can stop these kids from shooting for the stars. “Eventually we’ll be at the Saenger Theater,” Todd said.