NEWS: Northwest Florida Daily News
March 3, 2019
NICEVILLE — They may not have broken the world record for the most tiaras worn at once. But the 255 people who tried took part in something that’s never done in Okaloosa County.
Drama Kids of Northwest Florida, an an elementary age after-school theater program, hosted an event Saturday in hopes of breaking a Guinness World Record for most people wearing tiaras. The effort was part of a fundraiser for the Niceville High School Theatre Department.
To break the record, at least 420 people had to be present wearing the tiaras for five minutes. The challenge began a little after noon and was followed by a short performance by the Niceville theater students.
The money raised from Saturday’s event will help replace some of the theater equipment at Niceville.
“It’s great to have this much support because a lot of these people that are here are Drama Kids families,” said Alissa Clifton, director of Drama Kids of Northwest Florida. “We’ve had a few people that saw it on Facebook or saw it in the newspaper and decided to come.”
Jackie Matichuck said she enjoys attending community events like Saturday’s and showing support.
“This is so cool,” Matichuck said. “I mean, it’s fun. It’s corny. Why not? I was really hoping more of Niceville would have got behind this.”
Cindy Holmes, another participant, agreed.
“And who doesn’t want to wear a tiara and be in the Guinness Book of World Records?” she said.
Clifton said she had that type of event on her mind for 10 years, but the idea never manifested. Although they didn’t meet their tiara goal, she said they would try again next year.
“With Drama Kids, our goal is confidence,” Clifton said. “The confidence they gain with being a part of something like this. … Saying they participated in something like this is something they’ll get to talk about their whole lives.”
NEWS: Destin Students Shine in Afterschool Program
By Savannah Vasquez, The Destin Log
Posted Sep. 28, 2015 at 2:42 PM
Seven robots marched around the library at Destin Elementary School last Thursday. The robots then morphed into floppy rag-dolls then very tall giraffes before changing back into their original form of kindergarten to fourth grade children.
The event was Drama Kids International, a weekly after-school program that uses theater to encourage creativity, confidence and critical thinking in children.
“I really, really love drama a lot,” said program director Alissa Clifton when asked what got her interested in the program. “I think it’s the best job ever.”
Clifton actually runs the program in nine Okaloosa county Schools and said each group works on short dramas with the end goal of putting on a performance for the parents.
“We start out each class with creative improvisation exercises, then vocal warm-ups,” she said. “The goal is by the time we do a parent presentation at the end of the semester, students will be able to welcome them to the program and introduce themselves and what is going on. In the spring we will be putting on a short play for family and friends with each student having similar sized parts so that every child can shine.”
At Destin’s program, the kids had fun playing interactive games that kept them thinking on their feet, then made up their own skit using a story prompt before finishing the day with a song.
“We are doing something similar to writing prompts they usin in school, except with no writing,” said Clifton. “We give them a beginning and ask them to come up with a middle and end, and the kids are having so much fun they don’t even notice.”
NEWS: Drama On the Coast
NEWS: Okaloosa kids are learning drama – the good kind of drama
BLUEWATER BAY — Students at several Okaloosa County schools are getting an early opportunity to whet their acting chops.
Since August, nine schools have welcomed Alissa Clifton to work on the basics with children through the Drama Kids of Northwest Florida program.
The nationwide after-school program is designed not only to help students with their acting, but with public speaking and creative thinking.
“Mostly it’s just about confidence,” Clifton said. “It’s very helpful in the classrooms when they do presentations.”
It also helps fill the arts gap in education following numerous funding cuts, she said.
“I think it’s important to have another option besides just music,” Clifton said.
Right now, 86 students are enrolled. Clifton hopes to expand it in Okaloosa as well as Walton and Santa Rosa counties.
During a recent practice at Bluewater Elementary School, Clifton took the children through line memorization, improv acting and body movements.
Seven-year-old Kyler Bess and his younger sister Keira, 6, love acting, so the program was not to be missed.
“I am a great actor,” Kyler said. “(Keira’s) the best at crying. Want to see her do it?”
Clifton said while not all the students start out as fearless as the Bess children, within a week even the most shy kids are opening up.
Students can enroll anytime during the school year or attend summer programs.
TO LEARN MORE
For more information about Drama Kids of Northwest Florida, visit, https://dramakids.com/destin-fort-walton-beach-niceville-fl/.
Contact Daily News Staff Writer Katie Tammen at 850-315-4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @KatieTnwfdn.
NEWS: Drama Kids is now in Northwest Florida! What fun it is to work with area children in a DRAMATIC way!
Drama Kids curriculum utilizes fun, creative and interactive activities that aim to improve communication skills and build confidence and self-esteem. Drama is a fundamental part of education that teaches children to speak out clearly and relate confidently with peers. In a classroom environment, these skills improve a child’s ability to give book reports, speeches and actively participate in group projects!
NEWS: Acting up: Drama Kids helps children in Destin build confidence
As Toni Frana stands in the front of a small classroom, her students sit quietly, listening to everything she has to say — hearing everything she has to say.
That’s just one of the skills Frana teaches her students weekly in an hour-long drama program — Drama Kids.
Drama Kids is the worldwide leader in children’s drama classes. The classes and camps help children build self-esteem, character, leadership skills, confidence, acting skills, public speaking skills and listening skills.
Frana got involved with the Drama Kids program in July of this year while living in Las Vegas.
When she and her family made the move south to Northwest Florida, Frana brought her Drama Kids experience with her.
“There’s wasn’t really anything like this that I know of in our area,” said Frana, “so I wanted to try it out here.”
Frana began teaching Drama Kids at the end of September to students throughout Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa Counties at Smarts and Arts on Airport Road. The Drama Kids classes are open to students from five to 12 years old — but Frana says that age range may grow in 2013.
“We are looking to expand more with the middle schools,” Frana said.
Drama Kids classes can be delivered Monday through Friday, in any public location that is free and open to the community — including public parks, recreation departments and community centers. The Drama Kids program can also be brought into area schools for an afterschool program.
The only weekly class Frana is currently teaching in Destin is held at Smarts and Arts on Airport Road, Thursday nights from 5 to 6 p.m.
According to Frana, the most important rule to remember while in a Drama Kids class is always have fun. And the kids have mastered it.
Two of her students who take her class at Smarts and Arts, five-year-old twins AnnaSophia and Liam Brown, tell The Log that their favorite part of Drama Kids is “everything.”
As a group, Frana said the students enjoy the mini-play portion of each class the most.
During the mini-plays, students are broken up into smaller groups and given lines to recite. A popular theme for a Drama Kid’s mini-play involves children making ice-cream or toys.
After the smaller groups have learned their parts, the class comes together — reciting all of their lines, forming one skit.
Frana introduces the students to different characters, settings and environments, allowing them to act up in a positive way.
Frana said that it has always been important to her that her work add value in some way to people’s lives — which is the real reason she got involved with Drama Kids.
“It’s incredible to see the confidence children can build in just one hour a week,” Frana said, “I can’t imagine doing anything else!”
If you would like more information about Drama Kids call 279-4008 or visit https://dramakids.com/destin-fort-walton-beach-niceville-fl/.