(Posted 3:30 p.m., May 24)
Orleans Young Players shine in wonderful double bill
By Fred Sherwin
Feist and Maggie Sherwin played the roles of Professor Puzzle and Agnes
Dactyl in the OYP Act II production of Whirly Words. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Young Players took to the stage last Sunday night with the latest two installments
in the theatre schools Spring Theatre Showcase.
First up was
Samantha Stephens Saturday Act I class with their adaptation of Canadian
playwright James Reaneys The Boy with the R on his
Hand entitled Tale of A Hero.
The play is about
a young orphan boy named Alec who learns about being a responsible young
man and maintaining his integrity through a series of escapades.
One of my bugaboos
about amateur theatre, or any live theatre for that matter, is a lack of
projection and allocution. Its hard to be a good actor if the audience
either cant hear you or cant make out a word youre saying.
young cast in had no difficulty being heard or understood. Jacinta DaNova,
as Alec, was a jewel to behold. Every time she was on stage she commanded
the audience's attention by her mere presence and booming voice (made all
the more remarkable coming from someone so petit in size).
The play is set
in the former Upper Canada capital city of York during a period of political
unrest. Rioters ransack William Lyon Mackenzies print shop and Alec
uses his judgement and tells the Lieutenant Governor who the rioters are
before he leaves on a summer sojourn.
remarkable performance, Kellie MacDonald stood out as Mackenzie, as did
Jenna Braham who played Rebecca. The
rest of the cast included Tessa Duc as Alecs brother Joel; Kelsey
Armour as Aunt Henrietta; Lydia Salgo as Cousin Allan; Dylan Sherwin as
Doc Strachan; Megan Kelly as Mistress Strachan and Lady Catherine; Carole
Rondeau as Cousin Bathsheba and Zakiya Abdullah as Charley and the narrator.
should go out as well to siblings Sydney and Tyler Smith who filled in on
two weeks notice. Sydney played the roles of the Elderly Lady and Mr. Aiken,
while Tyler did an amazing job as Uncle John especially when you consider
he only had two weeks to learn his lines while rehearsing for his role in
Sundays other production Whirly Words by Sam Stephens
Act II class.
The play was
inspired by Reaneys 1980 play Gyroscope. Its loosely
about a man who enters a poetry contest so that he will have something in
common with his wife, the only problem is that the Harpers Poetry
Guild is only open to women. To
get past this obvious obstacle he dresses up as a woman and ends up winning
Behind the scenes
is a group of five friends who get transported back in time to witness the
chain of events. One of the friends is a Game Boy addict who has no time
for poetry. As the play evolves, he begins to gain an appreciation for the
written word and by the end of the play he becomes a budding poet.
Once again the
entire cast did a wonderful with the script. Of special note was the performance
of Tyler Smith, who I already mentioned, who played the husband. Erin Mitchell
did an awesome job as a reporter named Mattie and Samantha Ethier who played
the wife Hilda LaSelva.
of the cast included Maggie Sherwin as the president of the Harpers
Poetry Guild; Henri Feist as the poetry contest judge Professor Puzzle;
Kaitlyn Bentley-Desousa as Harriet; Ben Murray as Will the Game Boy addict;
and Adriana Baker, Sebastien Wakim, Olivia Campagna and Meranda Nolan.
was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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