p.m., Dec. 3)
thespians deliver entertaining double bill
By Fred Sherwin
always a treat attending an Orleans Young Players production, especially
when the students take on something beyond the usual lighthearted fare of
futuristic fairy tales and sugar and spice and everything nice.
OYP's Act II
class did just that Saturday night with their production of "The Box"
about a group of kids who are sent to a bomb shelter by their parents to
escape a devastating world war.
a year in the shelter the kids are quickly running out of food and what
little hope they have left that their parents are going to come back for
part about the play, besides the mature subject material, is the fact that
each actor had to write their own monologue aimed at providing some insight
into their characters.
While most young
actors would have a difficult time tackling the seriousness subject material,
the entire cast rose to the occasion and did so with flying colours.
The Act III class,
which is made up entirely of students in Grade 5 and 6, did a remarkable
job in remaining true to the plot while delivering one of the most remarkable
performances for their age group I've seen in the last five years. It was
that good. And I'm not just saying that because my daughter was in the play.
young age, the core of the cast has been together for the past three years.
Under the tutelage of OYP instructor Andrea Cochrane, they have grown leaps
and bounds since their first production "The Pirates of Narnia"
back in 2004.
Box", the castaway kids are struggling to maintain what little hope
they have left of being reunited with their parents when two surprise visitors
happen upon their shelter. The visitors turn out to be a brother and sister
from the enemy camp called Zorfars who are tired and starving.
presence triggers a debate among the shelter's inhabitants about whether
or not they should share their dwindling food supplies with the siblings.
In the end they agree to feed them, but one of the kids who voted against
helping the visitors, decides to steal the food in the middle of the night
and run away.
When the other
kids realize she's gone, the brother volunteers to go find her. He eventually
does and brings her back, but collapses and dies after they return to the
shelter. As the play ends, the kids' attention is caught by a series of
morse code signals which come across an emergency transmitter that has remaind
silent for nearly a year.
Mati Contal and
Erin Abbott did a great job as the two main characters Peter and Clarice
while the remainder of the cast was rounded out by Brianna Bettencourt as
Noelle, Jordan Dangerfield as Heather, Tyler Smith as Charlie, Maggie Sherwin
as Lauren, Madison Skotnicki as Lisa, Petra Hohenstein as Charlotte, Adrienne
Pearce as Gwen and Laurence DaNova and Christina Wood as the sibling visitors
Robert and Jenny.
The double bill
was kicked off by the Act I production of "Funky Town Fiasco"
about two sisters who go back in time with their grandmother, who is a former
disco dancing champion, to try and learn some moves for an upcoming dance
Hot on their
heels are their two rivals along with Inspector Jean Cloulesse. They all
end up in a disco contest being put on by Captain Boogie and his bunny with
Elvis Presley as the judge. There are a number of other contestants in the
competition including Sheik Yir Booti, hilariously played by Caelon Rebus,
and two of Captain Boogie's proteges.
played the Disco Granny, Adriana Barker was Captain Boogie and Karl Maitland
played Elvis. The rest of the cast included Kaitlyn Bentley-DeSousa who
played a cop and Kenny Kobler, Olivia Champagne as Zoe, Kelsey McClymont
as Annabelle, Sydney Smith as Debbie, Henri Feist as Inspector Cloulesse,
Meranda Nolan as Karen, Olivia Woods as Zita and Gabriella DeLenardo as
For several of
the cast members, "Funky Town Fiasco" was their first OYP production
while the remainder of the group will be graduating to the Act II class
The third and
final OYP play is their annual Christmas production which this year is "The
Nutcracker Story" which is being performed this Friday and Saturday
at the Orleans Theatre. Curtain time both nights is 7 p.m. Tickets are $10
for adults and $7 for OYP families and students.
Orleans Young Players Act II class delivered a memorable performance in
the production of "The Box" Saturday night at the Orleans Theatre
. Fred Sherwin/Photo
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