The partnership between West Side School and the Strand Theatre is part of the Strand's education program. "We want to start growing our education programs," said Cassi Costoulas, Front House Manager in charge of the Strand's educational programs. "Something we think is really important is bringing theater and arts to the students of our community."
The Strand Theatre assists West Side's Drama Club by teaching the children drama once a week and working together to produce the show, Costoulas said.
"The rehearsals are at West Side with the final production on stage at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre with full costumes, sets and lighting," she said. "The whole shebang."
Corey Bradberry, musical director and Marium Khlaid, drama teacher, both Kennesaw State University theatre graduates, assist Costoulas, who is director of the show.
"This (partnership with West Side) is one of our first steps to start making it (education program) a full-fledged program here," Costoulas said. Other educational opportunities include field trips and the Student Work Festival, which took place last spring.
"There are so many studies that show that kids who are involved in the arts not only do better socially but academically on test scores and other concrete things in the classroom," she said.
"West Side's partnership with the Strand Theater provides our students with an incredible theatrical experience at a very young age. The discipline, confidence and interpersonal skills fostered and developed through an experience such as this are invaluable," West Side Principal Jennifer Lawson said.
"We want to grow a community that loves theater and that starts with students," Costoulas said.
For tickets, visit www.earlsmithstrand.org or call (770) 293-0080. Tickets are $10 per person.