Katie Vogt (centre) leads the Maranatha Players as they perform

Katie Vogt (centre) leads the Maranatha Players as they perform

Don’t Stop Believin’ on stage

Excitement builds as one of Williams Lake’s most popular traditions gears up for opening night on Thursday, Dec. 3.

Excitement builds as one of Williams Lake’s most popular traditions gears up for opening night on Thursday, Dec. 3.

The Maranatha Players are set to delight audiences this season with their musical Don’t Stop Believin’!, directed by Becky Strickland.

The play goes above and beyond to entertain, inspire and delight, says producer Val Hanet.

Hanet describes the play as a fabulous musical with anthemic songs about a bunch of inner city kids.

“They’re trying to save their community centre by participating in a TV show called We’ve Got Talent with hosts Paul Abbott and Simone Crowell,” she says.

“It has really great music that covers a bombastic range of styles and genres including tango, line dance tunes and swing music. There’s a hint of Glee and some great 80s guitar.”

Surprises in store for the audience include hair tone delights, flying basketballs, big chorus numbers and choreography that thinks outside the box.

Grade 12 student Shelby McCauley, who has nine Maranatha productions under her belt, plays Coral Dahl, assistant at the community centre.

An excitable exuberant people-pleaser who relates easily to the kids, Coral is a character that Shelby says isn’t a huge stretch for her.

“I really enjoy the ‘community’ backstage with other kids you might not otherwise get to know,” Hanet says, “and the dancing and singing is a lot of fun.”

McCauley said she’d like to join Williams Lake Studio Theatre, and is looking at post-secondary education in arts and music.

“What I really want the audience to take home with them after seeing Don’t Stop Believin’! seeing how powerful it is for students to have opportunities like this,” she explained.

“It’s so good to step out of our comfort zone and develop confidence. This is a wonderful way to reach people and influence them in a different way.”

Grade 12 student Lliam Smith plays community centre volunteer Brady Fisher.

“He’s a character with a secret, and has strong motives for being at the centre,” Smith explains. “He gets excited about the music and about the big group number that can save the centre.”

Smith says that he can relate to the character he plays, adding that they’re the same in some ways and different in others. “We’re both nice and want to make people happy, but he’s a bit more outgoing than me,” Smith says.

“This is the first time I’ve done a lead role, and this is a bit of a stretch for me. I’ve never sung in public and in this production I sing alone.

“This is such a confidence-builder for me. I’m definitely having fun, and I know my family and friends are going to be surprised seeing me in this role,” he stated.

“The main message of this play is that no matter who you are, you can do it.”

Show times for Don’t Stop Believin’! are at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3; Friday, Dec. 4; Saturday, Dec 5; Thursday, Dec. 10; and Friday, Dec 11.

Saturday, Dec. 12 shows are at 1 p.m. and at 8 p.m.

Tickets are available at The Open Book and Maranatha Christian School: $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and children ages 12 and under.

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