By day, it’s a science lab. After school, the lab becomes costume-central as fabric, patterns, scissors and pins are fashioned into costumes for the upcoming school musical, Disney Aladdin Kids.
The Lakeland Elementary School (LES) PTA is sponsoring the third school musical along with several business supporters. It will be Feb. 7th– 8th in the school cafeteria. The 70-member cast is composed of kindergarten through fourth grade and backstage crew is third and fourth graders.
Disney Aladdin Kids
Lakeland Elementary School
6 p.m. Feb. 7th — 4 p.m. Feb. 8th
Admission is $5 – Pay at the door – Open to the Community
Along with four teachers and five volunteer moms are two second grade students, Adie Snow and Addysen Lyons, who cut, pin and create right along with the grown-ups.
Kristen Nichols, 2nd grade teacher, said she gives her students an interest survey at the beginning of the school year. “Fashion design and sewing were two of the choices,” she said. So it was a natural that two of her students wanted to help with costume-design and creation. Mrs. Nichols said she hopes to have a sewing club next year at LES.
Alongside Mrs. Nichols working on the play and costumes are Robin Smith, music teacher and director; Alex Brown, 2nd grade teacher; and Christy Harrison, 1st grade teacher.
Link to Google album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/NwSxYwgkmw7GBrmg7
From Mrs. Smith: “Becoming the director over the drama club has been a blessing in disguise. These amazing students never cease to amaze and surprise me. Don’t get me wrong, this job does have stressful moments but seeing all their hard work come together is a joy to see and be a part of.”
Mrs. Nichols is making most of the cast and supporting cast costumes – about 30. Mrs. Smith is making all the head gear and the volunteer moms are making 30 ensemble costumes. There are costumes for villagers, sultans, villains and dancers, tunics, sashes, vests. They meet Tuesdays from 4:15 – 5:30 p.m. while the cast practices their roles at 7:45 a.m. Tuesdays.
The volunteer moms are Sabrina Grady, Kathy Moore, Jaime Hathcock, Cheryl Potter and Elizabeth Kuban. Other volunteers helped with auditions, rehearsals and four will be backstage, said Mrs. Smith.
Mrs. Nichols drove to a fabric store in Southaven for supplies and uses her sewing machine at home to complete the outfits while fitting them to cast members. “I do all of the sewing at home during whatever time I have. It’s very time-consuming, but I truly am having fun as the finishing projects/costumes are coming together.”
To finance the play, parents paid a costume fee and purchased all the items on Mrs. Smith’s Amazon wish list for props. Mrs. Smith said the PTA paid to license the musical, rent sets, purchase the fabric and cover all the initial fees.
Mrs. Nichols said, “This is the first year that I’m making the costumes for the play for LES. I have made dresses and costumes for Arlington High School drama when my daughter was in high school. She just graduated last year. Robin needed some volunteers and I wanted to help. I was only going to help, but I have become her right-hand costume-head-seamstress.”
So how did this team of teachers turned costume-fashion-designers come together? “The day of the Veteran’s Day program, Nov. 5th, after cleanup, Robin and I sat in her room on the floor planning and mapping out her vision for the play. She has allowed me to put my input into the costumes. We work very well together, collaborating on what we need.” And what they created was the Costume Vision Book, which contains details on every costume.
“After speaking with Mrs. (Joretha) Lockhart (LES principal), I asked if I could have my students meet with me after school and help with the costumes. We would try and perhaps make a club next year, as the clubs for this year had already been established and started. My students do help, but I think my mothers who help seem to be learning just as much, if not more. Which is quite fun for all of us! I do like working with children, but working with these sweet mothers after school has been quite a blessing.”
… Photos by Jim Willis, Lakeland Currents