The Nautilus Players
with Janice Toomey and Molly Adams-Toomey, as directors, put on a Gilbert & Sullivan musical each May. The productions are elaborate, funny and fun. More importantly, they are open to all but the very youngest students, as the role of the chorus is central to G & S productions and allows for an infinite (almost) number of choristers.
The Nautilus Players started a new tradition in January 2012: a panto as a service project. They presented a rollicking interpretation of “Beauty and the Beast” in the spirit of British Panto, or winter musical-comedy theater. The 2013 Winter Panto was “Peter Pan”. Instead of charging admission they asked for donations for Journeys Within Our Community and Water is Life, Kenya. See how the 2012 donation was used.
The results of having a drama club are vast and varied. It is fun, children learn about dedication, hard work, responsibility and how to memorize! Talents are discovered that might have otherwise remained hidden, and everyone gets a chance to be on stage in some capacity.
But, the thing that is paramount in this experience is the sense of community that develops through working toward a common goal. We support each other, cheer each other on and comfort each other when things are difficult. We get to know each other in important and intimate ways, outside the arena of the class room. We are very proud of our productions, but it is the time working together before the “big night” that is at the heart of the experience.
You can tell how central Drama Club is to NCCL in so many ways: the alumni who list the experience as one of their most important, the alumni who routinely come back and help with productions (as with our current accompanist), dedicated involvement from the parents and, most of all, the serious commitment of the students. NCCL provides a unique experience for a full-fledged theatrical experience that is rare for children younger than high school.