Students at Lithia Springs Elementary School, under the direction of Lecia McCarty, will perform the Jr. Disney Production, Mary Poppins Jr.

For nearly 30 years, Lecia McCarty, a fifth grade Language Arts/Social Studies teacher at Lithia Springs Elementary School has been directing 4th and 5th grade students and producing live theatrical performances. This tradition will continue this May when the fourth and fifth grade students, under the direction of McCarty, perform the Jr. Disney Production, Mary Poppins Jr.

The shows will take place on Thursday, May 16 and 23 and Friday, May 17 and 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Lithia Springs Elementary School located at 4332 Lynx Paw Trail in Valrico. Tickets are $10 per person and can be obtained at the school’s front office as of Wednesday, May 1.

McCarty said, “Everyday is a good day because of the kids.”

McCarty works tirelessly to put on the productions. However, she does not do them alone. She is assisted by choreographer and fellow teacher Amy Hoover; set designer, artist and art teacher Shelley Valdez; and former parent and long-time customer Sandra Carter.

In addition, the students, their parents and siblings who need service hours, put in time with rehearsal and set production.

McCarty said, “It is all about family and about the community. So many people help me put on these productions.” McCarty added, “I find it wonderful when a student reaches high school, comes back and asks me if I remember them. I love when they come back.”

Over the years, the productions have grown. McCarty used to write the scripts and only had a small stage. Today, she contracts with Jr. Disney Productions, has an expanded stage and elaborate sets.

McCarty’s love of drama began at an early age. She wrote her first play when she was just 11 years old. She was involved in community theatre in college and has a secondary degree in Theatrical Arts – Directing.

The drama productions at Lithia Springs are open to students from surrounding schools. Each August, McCarty sends out information on the show that will be performed that year. For more information, please contact McCarty at Lecia.Mccarty@sdhc.k12.fl.us.