Tulare Union drama students want to “make people happy” by breaking out of shells

Tulare Union High School's advanced drama class is going through a dress rehearsal for the musical melodrama

Hidden behind the Tulare Union Theater is Room 530. Here, students have the freedom to be themselves—or whoever they want to be.

There is a stage at one end of the well-lit classroom; on the other side is the desk of visual and performing arts teacher Jill Coyle. In between are tables and chairs full of students who some days spend hours in the walls of the room.

A handful of drama students use theater to express themselves, while others use it as an escape. Regardless of the “why?”, Coyle’s classroom gives these students the opportunity to shine.

“It’s a way for me to have fun,” said Sky Cottle, an acting student at Tulare Union. “I want to make people happy”

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