Stopping fires through songs

ATP students teach grade schoolers fire safety

Story by Zane Johnston, staff writer

Advanced Theatre Performance (ATP) students  worked for almost a month on a fire safety performance to educate and entertain students in elementary schools throughout the district. From Oct. 10 to 15, the class finally got the chance to perform for kids from pre-K to 5th grade.

ATP spent a couple weeks before the performances creating songs, chants and skits that they thought the grade schoolers would enjoy and learn something from.

“We split into groups, and we started brainstorming ideas of things kids liked. didn’t like, paid attention to and how they get bored easily,” sophomore Perla Hernandez said. “The fire department came and chose the best skit, song and everything else they wanted to incorporate.”

Eventually, the class produced a skit that the kids and the firefighters would both enjoy.

“The skit was a game show with three people: two people never had the right answers and one person did, so [that character] was the one that got everything right,” junior Alex Cope said.  “[That character] was the one who got all of the answers right for the kids. In the end, they had a bonus round where that person would go in and show each step [to escape a room in a burning house.]”

Grade schoolers are a very different audience than the class is used to, so they presented a very unique experience for the actors.

“We sang this song to the tune of “Baby Shark” and whenever the kids stood up to do it with us, the kids went crazy. They enjoyed it, and it was fun to watch their reactions,” Graham said.

Completing all of this work within just a few weeks posed another challenge. It was a difficult process, but the student’s reactions made the performance worthwhile.

“My favorite part was going up on stage, saying all the chants, having to explain it and watching all of the kids do it along with us. Even though they are the hardest crowd, they’re the most forgiving,” Cope said.