It is no secret that over the years École Secondaire Beaumont Composite High School (ESBCHS) has created, nurtured and expanded upon their musical theatre program.

Today, it is one of ESBCHS’ most prized curriculums, with more and more students opting in to it every year and this year is no exception.

Chantal Yardley, drama teacher at ESBCHS, said she is excited to introduce this year’s cast and crew to the community, and what better way than with a full-scale musical; Meredith Willson’s The Music Man.

According to Yardley, the Tony award winning play is a diverse musical and dance experience that is not performed very often. The main plot for the play involves a con-man out to earn a buck, the naïve townsfolk he tries to swindle and a clever librarian who inevitably becomes his love interest — but whom also sees through his corrupt scheme.

Yardley said this play is one that her predecessor, the late Keith Ewasiuk would be very proud of.

“This group of kids is kind of like his last cast and they are so committed. I think they are one of the strongest casts yet, and he would be proud of what he’d see,” said Yardley.

Committed might be an understatement for this particular group, who rehearse every Monday, Wednesday , Friday and Saturday.

“I’d say I’ve personally put in at least 12 hours of practice a week for this play,” said Grade 12 student Karlee Squires, who will be playing Marian, the female lead.

For Squires, all the rehearsing is welcome, as this is her first major role.

“I have my sister, mom and dad constantly running lines with me. There are just so many to learn,” said Squires, but that she is up for the challenge.

Fellow cast mates Shania Dela Rosa, Grade 12, and Abby Dewar, Grade 11, said they are just as eager to take on the challenge.

“I’ve been taking drama classes since Grade 9 but I was always too stage fright to join musical theatre, up until last year when my best friend pushed me to do it,” said Dela Rosa. “Now when I get stage fright I just put myself in a different state of mind. I’m not Shania anymore, I am a character.”

Dewar, who unlike Dela Rosa, said she never suffers stage fright, said her challenge is in learning all the new songs.

“That is also what I like best about it. My character gets to be really dramatic so it’s a lot of fun. I am looking forward to hearing the audiences feedback.”

The students shared enthusiasm for the project is palpable, from the performers to the stage crew, Yardley said everyone is taking their roles seriously and is dedicated to the project.

“Our preview show is [Wednesday], Nov. 21. Tickets for that show are $13 in advance and $15 at the door. Our official opening night is Thursday, Nov. 22, advance tickets for that show will be $18 and $20 at the door,” explained Yardley.

Yardley encourages interested audiences to get their tickets early. “You’re going to want to see it twice, it is that good.”

And if that weren’t incentive enough to catch the show, Yardley said that in addition to performing in Ewasiuk’s honour, the students are also dedicating the performance to Bradley Arsenault, Kole Novak, Thaddeus Lake and Chantal Bérubé.

Bérubé, who was supervisor of the Beaumont Community Youth Centre, as well as a strong presence and role model in the ESBCHS community, passed away from heart complications in November 2011.

Arsenault and Novak who were ESBCHS alumni, along with Lake, who grew up in Leduc but was well known to many ESBCHS students, were killed in a vehicle collision involving an alleged drunk driver, also in November 2011.

“We will be accepting donations for Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), in all of their names, for the entire run of the show,” explained Yardley. “In addition, a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to SADD as well, with the rest going toward keeping our musical theatre program alive and well.”

To purchase your advance tickets, visit ESBCHS’ website online at esbchs.blackgold.ca.


Source:  The Beaumont News

Last updated on: 2012-10-21 | Link to this post