A collection of Studio Theatre actors gather around Santa in preparation for their roles in the Winter Lights Festival this weekend. Surrounding Santa are Town Cryer Harry Jennings (left) and elves Kirsten Sandberg

Elves set for Winter Lights Festival

Studio Theatre actors and Improv Group members will be playing a lead role in the Winter Lights Festival this weekend.

From the role of Santa and his elves, to storytelling, singing and skits for children, and even the town cryer Studio Theatre actors and Improv Group members will be playing a lead role in the Winter Lights Festival this weekend.

The Winter Lights Festival takes place in downtown Williams Lake this Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday.

The Studio Theatre members will be part of the Santa Parade on Saturday with elves carrying a banner and riding with Santa in his horse-drawn carriage.

The parade winds along Borland and Oliver Streets between 11 a.m. and noon Saturday.

When the parade is over children and families are invited to CJ’s Restaurant from noon to 2 p.m. to visit with Santa, sing holiday songs, hear stories and watch skits with Santa’s elves.

Friday evening members of the Studio Theatre’s Improv Group will also be performing at a dinner and dance at The Point Restaurant with the popular local jazz band BlueNote.

The Studio Theatre’s Improv Group is made up of about 10 core actors, but anyone is welcome to come and watch or participate in their activities, says Kirsten Sandberg who is organizing the Studio Theatre’s role in the Winter Lights Festival activities.

“Improv is valuable to me because not only is it incredibly fun, it also exercises my mind and imagination,” Sandberg says.

“As an actor, you need to be able to listen to your fellow actors and be able to respond to them accordingly. If something goes wrong line-wise, being able to think on your feet and keep the scene moving forward is an asset.”

Improvisational theatre, often called improv or impro, is a form of theatre where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed.

In its purest form improv dialogue, action, story and characters are created collaboratively by the players on the spot without a prepared or written script.

The Studio Theatre’s Improve Group meets on a regular basis to “make stuff up and have some fun,” says the group’s leader Brad Lawryk, who just finished directing Mindgame.

“Our goal is to provide anyone interested in improv, acting or theatre in general to perhaps step out of their comfort zone and have some fun in a safe and non-judgemental environment,” Lawryk says.

“We welcome anyone interested to come on out to any of our practices to either participate or just to watch.”

More information about improv is available on the Studio Theatre website.

Improvisational theatre is used in both comedy and dramatic theatrical performance; in film and television to develop characters and scripts and occasionally as part of the final product.

It is used extensively in drama programs to train actors. Improv is also used in classrooms as an educational tool, in businesses as a way to develop communication skills, creative problem solving and supportive team-work activity training.

Watch for advertisements in this week’s editions of the Tribune/Weekend Advisor for more details on the festival events.

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