Beginning next week, the Maranatha Players are on stage performing their musical, Lady Pirates of the Caribbean.
Director Becky Strickland is thrilled to be able to present this show with such a wonderful group of 26 students.
The students auditioned on September 6 and have been rehearsing from nine to 12 hours a week ever since.
Strickland teaches musical theatre for students in grades 4 through 12 at Maranatha Christian School.
There are many students who have come up through the program, growing and developing not only as actors, but as individuals.
“One of the greatest things is watching students grow in confidence and discovering more about themselves,” Strickland says.
“It is one of the major reasons I continue to run the theatre program.”
Strickland is in her 15th year of leading the Maranatha Players and is also involved in Williams Lake Studio Theatre. This spring she directed the award winning play Sense and Sensibility.
Shayla Muir, one of three Grade 12s in the play, is one student who has grown personally. Shayla started on stage in Grade 5 and has been in every production since.
“I choose to do drama because I love taking on the role of a different kind of person, especially one that is the opposite of who I actually am,” Shayla says. “I enjoy being challenged and stretching out of my comfort zone.”
This year Shayla has embraced the demanding role of Lucretia. Not only does Shayla enjoy the stage, she also enjoys the great bonding experience with the group of students involved in the play.
“I think my favourite thing that happens is when we perform for opening night and just realize how much work has been put into each production and how much everyone has accomplished over the three months of rehearsals.
“It’s just a great feeling to have.”
Besides acting and singing one can often find Shayla either drawing, playing piano or taking photos, all hobbies she enjoys.
As Shayla graduates and heads off she plans to take a year to work as she explores her many options.
Julian Ratz, the only Grade 12 boy involved in the play, is a student who has been involved with musical theatre since Grade 4.
“The reason that I love theatre is because it is a part of who I am and not a part that will be easily discarded,” Julian says. “I have loved the feeling of being on stage and the relations built behind them.”
This year Julian has been given the opportunity to try his hand at the type of role he has always wanted to try, the villain Don Juan Futon.
He has embraced the challenge, both within the acting and the solos within the music.
Julian can also see the benefits of being involved in the theatre program.
“It is a chance to work with many other people and through the shared experience, each has helped me build my own character,” Julian says.
When Julian is not on stage you can often find him gaming.
As he looks to his future Julian will continue to explore his options as he takes a year to discover what is out in the world that intrigues him.
Lady Pirates of the Caribbean runs Thursday, Dec. 4 to Saturday, Dec. 6 and Thursday, Dec. 11 to Saturday, Dec. 13, also with a matinee on December 13.
The Maranatha Players shows are always filled with humour, singing and dancing and this year’s edition is no exception with the added bonus of sword fighting!
You won’t want to miss it! Tickets are available at The Open Book and are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and children ages 12 and under.