Members of the Jordan Starr Players Theater Workshop entertained a large audience Friday evening, February 7, with the presentation of their play Little Red Robin Hood at the David Starr Jordan Middle School auditorium. Produced and directed by Taia Perry, the one act play brought together several familiar fairy-tale characters, including the Big Bad Wolf, the Pied Piper, Mother Goose, Humpty Dumpty and Little Red Riding Hood in the role of Robin Hood.
“It has been a privilege to work with these very creative students,” commented Perry. “They have put a lot of effort into their performances and are really enjoying the opportunity to do live stage work. They have done a great job. I couldn’t be more proud of them!”
Perry originally created the theater workshop for McKinley Elementary during the 2011-2012 school year, teaching acting two hours every week on a volunteer basis. In the spring of each year, the workshop would present a fully staged production. After seeing “The Wizard of Oz” play at McKinley, Jordan Principal Stacy Cashman invited Perry to bring the program to Jordan.
The Jordan Starr Players has been an after school theater workshop in its inaugural run. Including approximately 20 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders and a few additional middle schoolers on the tech crew, the workshop focuses on acting skills. Props, costumes, lighting and all the elements are brought together with volunteer help and a fully-realized play is staged during the school year.
“The theater arts have a lot to offer students as they grow on into their futures,” added Perry. “It increases confidence, teaches them to work both individually and as a group, it brings them insight not only into themselves, but into the human condition – and these skills are invaluable!”
Perry drew on the talents of several parents and community members to bring all the aspects of a professional looking and sounding performance together. Alexander Senar, Jordan Assistant Principal, liaised between the school and theater workshop group, working out schedules, accessing sound and light tech and creating space for a prop room.
“I’m so grateful that Taia picked Jordan to bring her time and talent. She is clearly passionate about theater and is bringing that to us,” commented Senar. “Taia and the cast have spent countless hours to perfect the play Little Red Robin Hood. It just makes sense to bring theater to Jordan, since we live in Burbank, the entertainment capital.”