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(Posted 8:30 p.m., May 21)

OYP juniors tackle computer virus with attitude
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Members of the cast in OYP's 'When Parents Are Gone, What Could Go Wrong?' gather around a computer to check an e-mail message. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Ever throw a party and have an unvited guest show up? Well what if the unvited guest happened to be a computer virus? That in a nutshell, is the premise of the Orleans Young Players latest theatrical gem "When Parents Are Gone, What Could Go Wrong?" put on by the school's junior class on Saturday.

Siblings Mel and Mike, played by Jill Gummo and Storm Bero, have been left in charge of their parents' house while their younger sister has a sleep over party. After the gang orders pizza, a pair of rockers from Mike's school show up unannounced looking for a different kind of party. One with loud music and lots of food.

Hot on their heels is next door neighbour Mrs. Wifflesniff who's played by Chelsea Nickerson. While everyone's still in the house the kids receive an e-mail, presumably from their parents. But just as they go to open it, the lights flicker and the front door jammed closed, locking them all which is when Morgana the computer virus makes her first appearance.

When Ricky the pizza delivery guy, played by Scott Gusdal, tries to defrag the computer, he's tricked into going upstairs by Snake and Raven, the two rockers, who have been "recruited" by Morgana.

Luckily for the kids, Mrs. Whifflesniff is actually a secret agent who has been trying to track down Morganna for years. Once Ricky frees himself from the closet, the kids race to defrag the computer and send Morgana back to wherever she came from. The pizza guy finally gets to make his other deliveries and the rocker dudes go off in search of a real party.

"When Parents Are Gone, What Could Wrong?" was a delight with several great lines like, "Go away lady, you're ruining our sleepover".

By and large the kids did a great job, although there were a few extended pauses in the middle and near the end as they searched for the next line.

Chelsea Nickerson as Mrs. Whifflesniff had the longest piece of dialogue to deliver and pulled it off superbly. Keigan Buffett as Spike, Scott Gusdal as Ricky the pizza guy and Jill Gummo as Mel also did a great job delivering their lines with excellent allocution and projection, as did Storm Bero who played Mike.

OYP's Sam Stephens looks on as Bram Dyck covers his face with a dog dish during the Orléans Very Little Players production of 'The Hokey Pokey Show'. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The rest of the cast included Natascia Vatieri as Morgana, Morgan de Yturralde as Ivy, David Sawdon as Chris, Kellie MacDonald as Rose, Kelsey Armour as Jen, Max Pettifer as Raven and Megan Kelly as Shannon.

At least a half dozen members of the group were in the Orléans Little Players' production of Gandma's Glasses during last year's Spring Theatre Festival.

Speaking of Little Players, OYP's Very Little Players took the stage after the junior class for their production of the Hokey Pokey Show featuring Katie Bell, Madison Doyon, Bram Dyck, Brendan Garland, Josée Lachance, Korbin Murphy, Hunter Searle, Seraphin Lachance, Jordan Toll and Caelyn Want as the Pokey Little Puppies.

As their teacher and director Sam Stephens read from the book "The Pokey Little Puppy", the group of pre-schoolers and Junioir Kindergarten students acted out the narrative in what can best be descibed as organized chaos.

Things almost got completely out of hand when Bram Dyck decided to ad lib with the dog dish. At one point he was lying on his back with the dog dish completely covering his face, causing Stevens, who is a stage veteran, to almost break out in fits of laughter. It was all she could do to keep her composer and finish the story.

Needless to say, Dyck should have a long and successful career as a slapstick comedian.

The Spring Theatre Festival continues this Tuesday and Wednesday when OYP's On Camera video class presents Fatal Prophecy at the Orléans Theatre. Curtain time both nights is 7 p.m.

The ShowBiz class will present the musical "Sweet Nothin" the following weekend from June 1-3, followed by the Orléans Old Players production of "An Unfortunate Series of Murders" and "Death by Murder" on June 5 and 6.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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