Magic of Theatre Inspires Students
Cherokee County School District (CCSD) high schools present shows throughout the school year, as well as select middle schools and the districtwide Academy Street Theatre Group program for elementary through high school students. With the help of CCSD staff, and a student and parent, we learned how the theater program inspires students and further connects them to the community, and included a list of theater productions for the spring semester.
“The theater is a magical place for students to grow and learn, trying their hands at many different aspects. They can learn tech and be the magicians behind the scenes, learn to build sets, become a prop master, help make or resource costumes, learn music and choreography, manage the stage, or completely transform into a different character and act! There is a place for everyone who desires to be a part of something bigger than they can imagine, a place where magic actually does exist.”
— Jodi Burn, director of the Cherokee High School theater program
Onstage With Academy Street Theatre
The Academy Street Theatre Group (ASTG) is an arts in education extension of the Cherokee County School District, offering students in grades 2-12 onstage and offstage opportunities in theater production. ASTG has staged more than 50 productions, including 30 presentations of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” as well as “Music Man,” “Newsies” and “Singin’ in the Rain,” to name a few.
“Live theater requires an extremely diverse set of skills. My favorite part about theater is that the stage is where written word, music, dance, movement and visual arts come together with science and technology, to create something new every single time the curtain rises. It’s a space full of potential that allows students to gather together, to tell stories and learn about life. It’s a place where, regardless of your strength or strong suit, there is a way for you to shine and learn. As the director of the ASTG, a countywide program, I am unbelievably fortunate in that I get to work with students from every public school in the county. I get to see unlikely friendships forged and skills developed as students share what they’ve learned from their school directors and take some new ideas and skills from ASTG back to their home stages.”
— Reed Christian, director of Academy Street Theatre Group
What a Difference a Play Makes
Kristi Roberts and daughter Ava Grace share their experiences with the Academy Street Theatre Group. Now a student at Sequoyah High School, Ava Grace has been a part of ASTG since second grade.
As a parent, it is a wonderful thing when your child finds his or her “thing,” or passion. My daughter, Ava Grace Roberts, fell in love with acting and performing onstage at a very young age. We have been so blessed that the Cherokee County School District has an arts in education program like ASTG! Ava Grace has been a part of ASTG since the second grade, and she has been able to perform in approximately 20 productions, so far. ASTG and the amazing director, Reed Christian, have given our daughter a creative outlet to explore and build on her talents and do what she loves.
All the experiences and wonderful opportunities she has had with ASTG have given her the confidence and helped catapult her into exploring acting and theater professionally. Ava Grace recently played Louisa von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” with City Springs Theatre Company, where she shared the stage with several Broadway actors, and was directed by Tony Award-winner Shuler Hensley. We are incredibly grateful to CCSD, Reed Christian and ASTG for providing such an amazing opportunity for our daughter, and all the CCSD theater-loving kids!
— Kristi Roberts
I discovered that I loved acting when I was 5 years old, after I took a local children’s theater class. I couldn’t wait to get into second grade, so that I could start auditioning for productions with ASTG. I have learned so much from our awesome director, Reed Christian, our talented choreographer, Cindi Bekas, and so many others. Most elementary and middle schools do not have drama programs, and that is why I am so grateful that our school system has ASTG. I have been able to perform in two to three productions a year with ASTG, and I have met so many friends from all over the county who love performing, too. ASTG is like a family to me, and I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had to do what I love with them.
— Ava Grace
Productions in 2022
For many shows, advance tickets will be for sale online. Whenever there is a link, it will be posted to www.cherokeek12.net/news/ccsdtheatre2122. Otherwise, anyone interested in purchasing tickets can contact the school front office for information. Performances are at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted.
Jan. 21-22, 24-26
River Ridge High School. There also is a 3 p.m. matinee on Jan. 22. Tickets are $7.
“James and the Giant Peach”
Woodstock High School. There also is a 2 p.m. matinee on Jan. 28. Ticket price to be determined.
“The Last Day of School”
Academy Street Theatre Group performs at River Ridge High School. Tickets are $5.
“Xanadu Jr.” and “Legally Blonde Jr.”
Creekview High School. 7:30 p.m., and a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Feb. 13. Adult tickets are $15; student tickets are $12.
“The Magic Treehouse: Pirates Past Noon”
Cherokee High School. Tickets are $5.
“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella”
Sequoyah High School. Adult tickets are $15; student tickets are $12.
Cherokee High School. Tickets are $5.
“The Drowsy Chaperone”
Etowah High School. There also is a 2 p.m. matinee on March 26. General admission tickets are $12. Tickets are $10 for senior citizens and children, age 12 and younger. Tickets are $8 for thespians and drama club members.
“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”
Creekland Middle School. 5 p.m. on March 26. Ticket price to be determined.
Cherokee High School. There also is a 2 p.m. matinee on April 23. Tickets are $10.
“High School Musical”
Woodstock High School. There also is a 2 p.m. matinee on April 23. Ticket price to be determined.
“Sister Act, Jr.”
Dean Rusk Middle School. There also is a 1 p.m. matinee on April 23. Tickets are $5.
April 22-23, 25-27
“The Butler Did It”
River Ridge High School. There also is a 3 p.m. matinee on April 23. Tickets are $10.
“Puffs: Or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic”
Etowah High School. General admission tickets are $10. Tickets are $7 for thespians and drama club members, senior citizens and children, ages 12 and younger.
“Shrek the Musical”
Academy Street Theatre Group performs at Cherokee High School. Tickets are $5.