Lights, Camera, Action!

Almond Acres Charter Academy middle school students are acting on a stage dressed in costumes. In the forefront of the picture, two students are recording the production.

Over the last two years, our annual theater production has looked a little different due to the pandemic and our move to a new school building, but this year we are back and bigger than ever with a show everyone is sure to love! Our middle school drama students are excited to welcome a live audience to our student-led performance of The Lion King, Jr. on Saturday, December 17th at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 18th at 2 p.m. at the Paso Robles Youth Arts Center. The shows are open to the public and tickets can be purchased at this link for $10. 

Dena Vertrees, this year’s director and producer, as well as an AACA 4th grade teacher, has been working with students and volunteers to make this year’s show the best yet. Our talented cast of 4th-8th grade  students have been hard at work, spending countless hours both during and after school to prepare for the production. These productions are unique because we allow a lot of freedom for the students to help create the play: from acting to curtains and even working backstage to move the sets, the students learn valuable skills like teamwork, patience and responsibility. 

The synergy that is born out of the students’ creative collaboration is always appreciated by the audience and the effects of their hard work are lasting. Take it from the students in past performances, like Madagascar, our theater productions grow great kids: 

 I like to pretend to be someone I am not, and I like that I can put a lot of my emotion into something. I can go on a whole journey with my character. My biggest highlight of the show was spending time with the whole cast because I made stronger relationships with some people and the cast was awesome!

Divy Emmons, who starred as Marty the Zebra in the 2020 performance of Madagascar.

As always, our efforts are made better by the volunteers who contribute their time and expertise. This year Shiloh Hamon is the lead costume designer, Geoff Higgins is the lead set designer and Wendy Woodard and Ashley Lundy have choreographed the show. They are joined by cast member parents who support the production in all areas. Every member of the design department is a volunteer and helps support the students to create a visually stunning and enjoyable performance. 

You won’t want to miss this one! Bring your children, the grandparents and neighbors to this year’s production of The Lion King Jr. on December 17th & 18th. The costumes, action and sets are sure to delight all ages! 

About AACA

Almond Acres Charter Academy is a public, tuition-free K-8 school that employs credentialed teachers and administers state-mandated testing to provide families in northern SLO County an additional choice in public education. Located in Paso Robles in a newly built, state-of-the-art facility, AACA is open to all students from all communities. AACA’s mission is to help students succeed academically and socially by educating the whole child: heart, mind, body and soul. We grow great kids! 

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