Middle school students steal spotlight

By RICHARD SCOTT / Guest Columnist

When you start something from nothing and do something that hasn’t been done before, you’re never quite sure what to expect.

Sometimes, though, something magical happens, and your accomplishments rise far above your original hopes. That was the case when the Columbiana Middle School Drama Club took the stage for its first public performance on March 3 at the Shelby County High School auditorium.

At CMS, we offer kids a chance to express their talents and interests through a variety of activities, but except for one who has performed at South City Theater in Alabaster, some of our more creative kids lacked the outlet they needed to express their unique personalities and gifts.

Over a course of eight weeks, 15 middle school actors grew inch by inch, and despite several rough moments and many doubts, the more we worked, the more possibilities we discovered.

When we finally took to the SCHS stage for our performance, we still didn’t know what to expect. Over the course of two hours of rehearsal, we somehow pulled everything together. After running the show three times, we ate, played, sang, ran around and then settled in to focus on the show.

At that point, one of our actors, Cameren, asked if we could pray. From that point on, it seemed as if everything and anything was possible. At one point, I found several of them praying together backstage. I also found many of them laughing about being nervous, determined to not let their inexperience and anxiety stop them.

With each scene, their confidence and excitement grew. When we hit a bump in one scene early on, we worked right through it. As the actors came off stage, you could see it in their eyes. It’s the same look I see as an English teacher and coach when the kids are getting it right and they know it, a look that says, “I really can do this!”

They were right. They can do it. They proved it to relatives, teachers, administrators, their fellow students and themselves. Olivia, Heather, Adriane, Lacie, PJ, Sam, Krystal, Kendal, Cameren, Shanae, Meredith, Adriana, Larry, Dylan, and Matt played like a team, prayed like a team, won like a team, and afterwards, celebrated their victory like a team — together, on stage, where they belonged.

Richard Scott is a seventh grade English teacher and football coach at Columbiana Middle School.