Volume 12 Week 5

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(Posted 3:30 p.m., Nov. 28)

OYP holiday production a reminder of the importance of friendship and family
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The Orleans Young Players Theatre School presents its holiday season production of 'The Snow Queen and the Goblin' this weekend at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The local holiday arts scene officially kicks off this weekend with a trio of performances by the Orléans Young Players Theatre School, the Gloucester Music Club, and a gathering of community church choirs at the Orléans Christmas Choirfest.

The OYPTS all ages winter play family class is performing their production of "The Snow Queen and the Goblin" based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale "The Snow".

The play stays true to the Martha Bennett King adaptation of the story -- which added a goblin as the Snow Queen's accomplice -- with a few additional tweaks by OYP artistic director Kathi Langston.

In order to accommodate the 40-member all ages class, Langston cast the narrators as famous Hans Christian Anderson characters including Thumbelina, the Little Mermaid and the Ugly Duckling.

The production also has a large ensemble chorus which at various times in the play portrays a flower garden, magical snow flakes and and imprisoned children.

The main characters are the Snow Queen, played by Sylvia Glenn, the Goblin, played by Gabe Schmitt, and the childhood friends Gerda and Kai, who are marvelously played by Lauren Jane Hudson and David Corrigan.

At the beginning of the play, the audience is told about a giant mirror that reflects only the bad in people and freezes the hearts of all who gaze at in its reflection. As the mirror grows the goblin carries it into the clouds, but a strong wind causes him to lose his grasp and the mirror falls to the earth and shatters into a million pieces.

Gerda and Kai are the closest of friends. They enjoy tending Kai's grandmother's flower boxes and playing together, but one day a shard of glass from the broken mirror gets into his eye and makes its way to his heart.

Kai's temperment immediately changes and he becomes hostile towards Gerda. The next winter while out sledding, Kai attachs his sled to the Snow Queen's sleigh while she is out looking for new children to ensnare. She kisses him twice -- once to numb him from the cold and the second time to make him forget about his grandmother and Gerda.

Heartbroken over the disappearance of her friend, Gerda decides to search for him and meets a number of interesting characters along the way, including a talking crow, a prince and princess, and a robber girl who takes pity on her and agrees to lend her her reindeer Bae.

Before arriving at the Snow Queen's frozen castle, Gerda and Bae meet a wise wizard who tells them the only potion Gerda needs to free Kai is her own love expressed in the words of her favourite song Roses Flower in the Vale.

Gerda's love is so strong that she not only frees Kai, she melts the hearts of the Snow Queen and the goblin and all children they've imprisoned.

"The Snow Queen and the Goblin" is a wonderful tale that reminds us all of the importance of friends and family, especially during the holiday season.

The play wraps up with a final performance tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in the Richcraft Theatre at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Tickets are $5 for children and $10 for adults, and are available at the door.

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



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