Tillie the Teller raises funds for Chawanakee Academy

April 29, 2014 

Chawanakee Academy Drama Club held its annual play, "Tillie the Teller" (or the Great Bank Robbery) at Sierra Pines Church last Friday.

The production is the brain child of Chawanakee Academy teacher Becky Cairns, who is in her seventh year of the program, which she also writes and directs.

The event included a dinner-desert, along with a silent auction to benefit the drama club, and featured an improv to start the evening featuring four of Cairns' students; the audience choose the subjects and relationships, and rotated every couple minutes.

The evening offered four seperate plays with "Tillie the Teller" being the main event.

Funds raised by the production go towards scholarships, which Cairns awards to an eighth and twelvth grader. Last year, the drama club was able to purchase a printer for the Chawanakee Academy with some of the proceeds.

"I couldn't do it without a great supporting cast, parents who are are so supportive — from the dinner, to the stage props, to set up/tear down and clean up," Cairns said. "I have great parents that help it become reality."

Twenty Chawanakee Acadamy students take theater through the home school program.

The group starts production in January in preparation for the April play. The drama club is open to all ages from kindergarden to high school, with this year's production featuring students as young as first-graders.

"I would like to thank Sierra Pines for allowing us the use of their church to practice and present the play," Cairns added.

"The number one fear in people, other than death, is public speaking. I started the drama club to help young kids face their fear of speaking in public. We play drama games, as well as other things, to help better prepare the kids to speak in front of others."

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