New Life to put on play with grant funds

Published 10:55 pm Monday, June 11, 2018

New Life Christian Academy will be using a $500 grant from the Alabama Bicentennial Committee to put on a community-based play about the freedom riders.

Principal Polly Laird said they couldn’t get the $2,000 grant that was awarded to 200 schools in the state, but they were named an honorable mention and were awarded the $500 grant.

“We’re proud to have been chosen as an honorable mention school,” Laird said. “Our theme this year is ‘unity in our community.’ So we decided to use the funds to do a community-based play. We wanted to bridge a few gaps that we feel existed in our community – across economic groups  and age differences. We also wanted to bring in different civic organizations and churches together.”

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With the grant in hand, Laird said the school is now working on planning the big spectacle.

“We wanted to bring in different people with different talents to do one big showcase for our community,” Laird said. “We’re going to have something for all age groups to do, from the preschool program through 12th grade. We’re going to be cooperating with the theater group from Troy University and local playwrights including Michaela Wingard.”

Laird said the play will be an original piece based on the key events of the time, with different songs being worked in for all of the different age groups involved.

Laird said the community play was one of the options schools could apply for to get a grant, and it tied in perfectly since the school already does a play each year.

“We want to get the word out to support all of our young people and open up the doors for some students who do not normally have opportunities to participate in fine arts. Our door is open for all community organizations that want to come in and help our youth.”

Laird said the plan is to perform the play sometime after February. The production will place an emphasis on Pike County native John Lewis, one of the freedom riders.

Laird said the state funds will help to get the word out about the play to all sectors of the community.

School officials are still working out some details of the play and will have more information at a later time.