Sydney  Freeman (left) and Donny Shaw sing a happy song riding home on the bus with their Christmas packages.

Sydney Freeman (left) and Donny Shaw sing a happy song riding home on the bus with their Christmas packages.

Columneetza students raise funds for new audio equipment

Columneetza secondary’s Grade 9/10 theatre performance class served up dessert and comedy to family and friends, Sunday evening.

Dessert and coffee were served up along with an animated Christmas play performed by the Columneetza secondary’s Grade 9/10 theatre performance class Sunday evening.

The play, called A Christmas Special, was written by the students and performed for family and friends for donations to the drama program, says teacher Gaye Burton-Coe.

She says more than $300 was raised to help replace the very old sound system in the drama room.

“The play consisted of nine scenes that were loosely tied together by a Christmas theme,” says Burton Coe.

“Some, but not all of the scenes, had a Christmas theme; for example, the students did an improvised scene, where they practiced their rendition of a southern dialect and performed as a really, really, bad band.”

In another scene she says the students were all on a bus, and the bus driver was very surly and kept making sharp turns that caused them to fall on top of each other.

This scene ended when a passenger asked the driver to play a Christmas carol and this improved the mood of the passengers and the driver.

In another Christmas scene, a therapist tried to help Mrs. Claus and her daughter who were reeling over Santa’s interest in a young, beautiful elf.

For this play, the entire cast also took turns making themselves into machines: a clock, a blender, a bicycle, a lawn mower and a popcorn machine.

“Six of the students dived into complete improv when they asked the audience to provide them with a word and then took this word and created an entire scene around it,” Burton-Coe says.

Three word games were played and Donny Shaw, who decided to dress himself as a grandpa-guru played a major role, alternately getting the kids to show frustration and affection.

Although the teacher made suggestions for some of the scenes and helped the students polish the scenes, the class came up with all of the ideas for the scenes themselves.

“The play was well received and the audience had a good laugh at the antics of the cast,” Burton-Coe says.