ORLANDO, Fla. — Cowley College’s Act One Drama Club recently returned from a trip to Walt Disney World to enjoy the Disney Performance Workshops.

“I already knew their shows were incredible, I knew the Disney College Program was a dream for a few of our students and I knew I had several contacts in the area that would help me inspire the students,” said interim theater director Cara Kem.

“Once I discovered we could take classes, too, I felt the trip was not only what we have structured our trips to be, but it was also the obvious choice.”

Act One organized several fundraisers to help to pay for the trip. “Before we knew it, 20 students had put a down payment on a trip to Disney,” Kem said. “It was a trip of a lifetime for many of them, and it is most definitely on our radar for future Cowley theater trips.”

While in Florida, Act One students took part in acting workshops, a custom technical theater workshop, and had a chance for a question-and-answer session with professional performers Brandon Lonza and Shaullanda Lacombe.

“I wanted to introduce Brandon to the students because he was in their shoes not that long ago,” Kem said.

“He didn’t have great connections and didn’t have a huge résumé, but wanted to perform. He helped the students see that there are so many ways to make your own success, and though he may not have a name for himself, he is certainly paying the bills while having the time of his life.”

Lacombe came into performing late in life. She went to college and began an entirely different career, but she knew in her heart that she was called to entertain. However, she didn’t know where to begin. Her only training was the church choir. But limited knowledge of the craft and business did not detour her.

The students also took in many shows at Disney World, including “Finding Nemo” and “Festival of the Lion King.”

This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications Rama Peroo.

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