(Posted 1:30 p.m., May 14)
Players bring Canadian poet's work to life
By Fred Sherwin
Saturday Act III class performs James Reaney's 'Suit of Nettls' as part
of the theatre school's Spring Theatre Showcase last week. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Young Players continued their tribute to Canadian poet and playwright James
Reaney last week with a pair of productions by two of the theatre school's
Act III classes for students in Grade 7 and 8.
The first production
"Suit of Nettles", is based on James Reaney's poem by the same
name about a flock of geese during the passage of a year.
I wish I could
tell you more about the play, but outside of two or three of the actors
the performance was barely audible a problem compounded by the complexity
of the dialogue.
Among the cast
members who stood out were Josh Starkey who played four different parts
including Scrutumnus the critic; Erika Lorensen who played Scrutumnus' friend
Busto as well as Effie the optimistic goose; and Paige Kendell who played
Dorcas the 'pet' goose.
After a brief
intermissionm, OYP's Tuesday night Act III class took the stage in "Poetry
In Motion", a cleverly conceived play by OYP instructor Jennn Jarvis
about a group of teenagers who find a book of Reaney's plays while helping
to clean up before a move.
But the book
is not just any collection of poetry. When its contents are read by the
four girls each poem is interpreted by a group of spirits. The catch is
that the poems only come to life when the girls are together. In the end
the youngest of the two sisters decides to divide the contents of the book
between the four of them so that whenever they reunite they can bring the
pages together and the play will once again come to life.
I would single
out some of the more memorable performances in the production, but they
were all equally brilliant. Technically they all projected well and their
allocution was near perfect.
The cast included
Emma Hoch as the mother; Madelyn Gauthier as Taren; Emily Dinardo as Lia;
Madeline Diamanti as Pinney; Andrea Constantine as Kate; and Lindsay Boileau,
Danielle Maltais, Madelene Dionne, Michaela Taylor, Allison O'Brien and
Madison Meyer as the spirits.
But the real
star of the play was Jarvis who both wrote and directed the production and
came up with lines like, "Don't be scared it's only poetry", and
the description of Reaney as "a very odd man who never acted his age
and saw things from a kid's point of view".
I can only imagine
that if Reaney himself had of been sitting in the audience, he would have
been suitably impressed with the presentation.
was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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