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      Community effort brings drama to Quincy Junior High

      Students at a local junior high are getting the opportunity to put a little more drama into their life.

      The Quincy Junior High will soon see a drama club forming at the school thanks to community efforts from several organizations like the Quincy Community Theatre, the Community Foundation of Quincy, and the QJHS PTA.

      The school has been without a drama club for quite a while.

      QJHS has offered theatre classes from time to time, but nothing stable has been available for students for the last few years.

      Brandon Thomsen, the QCT Director of Student Theatre and Head of Education thought he could help to change that.

      "Quincy Community Theatre is very active in outreach programs. We try to get theatre out to the schools. And so we took that as an opportunity, let's help out. We could offer something to the school, we could help unite those two communities, Quincy Public Schools and Quincy Community Theatre. It's a service we can offer, let's move forward, and do it.," said Thomsen.

      Debbie Gorman sits as president of the junior high PTA and loved the idea of helping this project.

      "Brandon Thomsen from the Quincy Community Theatre approached us and said "Hey, would you like to do something at junior high?" And we said "We sure would, but we don't have the money for it." Ultimately, we were awarded the Katherine Broemmel Endowment for the Arts, and then the Mary Ridder Cherny Fund, as well. So now we have the funds, which we're so excited for, and now we can provide a drama club at the junior high, free for all the students," said Gorman.

      Tim Knipe is a teacher at the junior high and will be helping the drama club out this year.

      "I think there's always a need for that. We have students that are academically gifted, and we have students that are musically gifted, we haven't really had an outlet for those students who have dramatic abilities. And being able to have Brandon Thomsen come from the community theatre and share his time and expertise with the students, I think is going to be fantastic. We're going to do some workshops first semester, and then second semester based on who shows up first semester we're going to try to do a small production," Knipe said.

      "I'm a firm believer that the theatre can make you a better person. I feel that being involved with the theatre allows a person to feel more comfortable and confident in his own skin. And it's great to be able to express yourself and your imagination. And those are skills you need whatever age you are," said Thomsen.

      "I just think it's going to be win win for the kids. I think it's going to be a fantastic outlet for those kids who have some dramatic expression in their background, and we know junior high is full of drama," said Knipe.

      The drama club's first meeting will be next Thursday, September 12 at 3pm at Quincy Junior High School.

      If you'd like more information or have questions about the drama club, you can contact Tim Knipe at Quincy Junior High School, or Brandon Thomsen with the Quincy Community Theatre.