Performing Panthers took the stage in Jemison

Published 10:20 am Thursday, March 23, 2017


The Jemison Middle School Performing Panthers performed “Alien Research” in the Jemison High School auditorium on March 21.

The cast consisted of 37 students from the drama club. Every member had a part in the play, which was a goal the program had from the start with this production, according to director Jillena Smets.

“Since I had so many kids that wanted to be a part of it and we didn’t turn any kid away, we found a play that had multiple parts so everybody can have a part,” Smets said.

The play was about aliens who discover books on earth and use technology to bring the stories to life, albeit with some comical inaccuracies.

The audience laughed as students acted out books such as “Dog Training for Dummies,” “Sherlock Holmes and The Diamond Thief” and even the dictionary.

“The kids have been practicing since the first of the year, two or three times a week, giving it their all,” Smets said. “Not every kid is a sports kid. Not every kid is the play an instrument kid. They need some arts … and it’s important for them to be able to have some type of outlet to express themselves.”

Smets said many of the actors have gained confidence they did not start the school year with by pushing themselves to act in front of their classmates and parents.

The play included skits written or modified by the students. Seth Bittle wrote and performed in a skit and played Mr. Floc of the Alien Research Unit in the main play.

“I’ve learned a lot about acting. I feel like I’ve learned more about how other people can react to different stresses,” Bittle said.

Bittle said his favorite part of drama club is “being with [his] friends.”

To raise funds for the production, the club sold ads for the program. The production had support from many local businesses and was able to perform for the school and public.

Cast list: Brisco Smith, Cole Elrod, Joseph Anderson, Itzel Juarez, Audrey Carlee, Emily Brant, Caley Branch, Anna Blackerby, Brooklyn Keenum, Frida Maldonado, Candace Anderson, Ryleigh Anderson, Gracie Ledbetter, Breyanna Moseley, Lacie Jarvis, Erin Shirley, Destiny Casale, Johnathon Smith, Allee Martin, Kelsey Eloff, Tanner Bean, Gavin Clark, Alex Blackerby, Kinsley Martin, Aliyah Patterson, Stetson Lucas, Ashlynn Young, Cooper Branch, Alexis Carr, MacKenzie Atkinson, Joshua Quesenberry, Hayden Anderson, Tucker Bean, Nathan Quesenberry, Seth Bittle, Mia Smith and Levi Burchfield.