A Cortez ‘Treasure’

Middle School Drama Program evolves from after-school duty to a funded social experience; be prepared to be entertained

Allyce Griffith, Ilai Sanders, Maddi Cooper and Sean McLaughlin rehearse for the Cortez Middle School production of “Treasure Island.” Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Allyce Griffith, Ilai Sanders, Maddi Cooper and Sean McLaughlin rehearse for the Cortez Middle School production of “Treasure Island.”

Literature lovers, drama aficionados and anyone else seeking a good time, be advised: Treasure Island is coming to Cortez Middle School this weekend, and the dramatic production certainly deserves a look.

A plot with plenty of pirates

Based on a 19th-century novel by Robert Lewis Stevenson, the Treasure Island chronicles the adventures of Jim Hawkins, played by eighth-grader Olivia Story.

Spurring Hawkins’ adventures is a map, which, according to legend, leads to the greatest treasure that the world has ever seen.

Traveling from England to a remote island, Hawkins encounters Long John Silver (Sean McLaughlin) Captain Smollett (Allyce Griffith), Squire Trelawney (Maddie Cooper) and countless other characters who join in the adventure.

Part treasure hunt, part coming of age story, Treasure Island is full of dramatic twists, top-notch acting and exciting commentary that will thrill audiences of all ages.

Middle school drama program grows

Sponsoring the production of Treasure Island will be the Cortez Middle School Drama Program, which, in only its second year of existence, has had a major impact on the middle school community.

Originally founded as an after-school club, the program’s success allowed it to evolve into a funded program with a multitude of members.

Along with providing top-notch entertainment, the program allows members to challenge themselves in new ways, which, according to Cooper, provides a vast number of benefits.

“I’ve had to go out of character,” explained Cooper. “In (“Treasure Island”), I have to be high maintenance and sassy and I’m not really that way.”

“Here at the middle school, we have kids who are willing to try anything once,” added program director Autumn Bryce. “If we can bring (theater) to (students) and give them a positive experience, it’s dynamic.”

Program provides social benefits

In addition to aiding middle school students in developing their dramatic skills, the CMS Drama Program has provided participants with a unique social experience.

Unlike some middle school programs that attract certain social groups, the drama program has attracted all types of students, which makes it unique.

“Theater becomes this weird eclectic family,” explained Bryce. “We have kids who come from all different backgrounds. It doesn’t matter who you are, you’re always accepted.”

A wonderful program to say the least, the CMS Drama Program is hopeful that members of the community will support Treasure Island.

Scheduled to show in the CMS Auditorium on April 18 at 7 p.m. and on April 19 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Treasure Island is most certainly worth a look.

The Cortez Middle School Drama Program rehearses for their production of Treasure Island. In front are Brooke Bates, Clarissa Dukeminier, Grace Slagle and Sean McLaughlin. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

The Cortez Middle School Drama Program rehearses for their production of Treasure Island. In front are Brooke Bates, Clarissa Dukeminier, Grace Slagle and Sean McLaughlin.

Cassidy Livengood, Olivia Story and Maxihikio Neves rehearse for “Treasure Island.” Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Cassidy Livengood, Olivia Story and Maxihikio Neves rehearse for “Treasure Island.”