Recent History – 2001
Jan. 11, 2001
By Bryna Casey and Megan Kane, SPSS Reporters
Do you kill the queen, or do you kill the law?
This is the moral dilemma audiences will be struggling with at the end of this year’s South Peace Secondary School music-theatre production of Camelot.
But the play, to take to the stage next week, is not all seriousness Ñ Camelot is a lighthearted, humorous and magical story about mythical knights, ladies, royalty and peasantry in the Middle Ages.
Great music, well-choreographed dancing, dazzling sets, colourful costuming, talented acting and 30 hours per week of tough rehearsal time combine to create an entertaining 2 1/2 hours of music theatre at Unchagah Hall.
The major theatre class at SPSS has been kept busy organizing the annual show.
The class consists of Grade 10, 11 and 12 students — and is made up of some talented people who have a love for theatre.
This particular class’ goal is to produce a high-quality Broadway stage show. With only one semester to work with, very little time was wasted in preparations.
“We have lots of work to do but it’s coming along nicely,” said Tonye Aganaba, who plays Queen Guenevere. “We will come together and have a tight ship.”
The class makes its own costumes and sets, and works diligently on the acting and music that goes into this complex show. Along with regular class time, the group has rehearsed every day after school in January from 5 to 9 p.m.
And the hard work won’t end until the play is presented, and even then it will be necessary to take down the sets, clean up the theatre and wrap it all up.
Debbie Longley, taking over from former major theatre teacher Fred Klem (who retired last school year), is producing the play in conjunction with music director Alice Hansen and Shelley Mowat, who is in charge of set design and construction.
Camelot is the tale of King Arthur and his Queen of England, Guenevere. In this story Guenevere and Arthur have an arranged marriage. However, they meet before they are supposed to when he overhears her praying. After realizing who she is, he knows he must have her.
After they’ve been married for a time Arthur creates his famous round table, enforcing the belief “might for right” but not “might is right”.
Men from around the world come to join the round table, including the proud and egotistical Lancelot from France. An unbidden attraction between Lancelot and Guenevere blossoms and grows.
The cast is composed of Ian Mooney (King Arthur), Cliff Testawich (Mordred), Aganaba (Guenevere), Helen Hopkins and Tatyana Dobrowolski (Morgan Le Fey), Kyle Kochanowski and Matt Denninger (Lancelot), Jessica McLaughlin (Nimue) and Dan Pavlis (Merlin the Magician), along with a strong supporting crew of actors, musicians and stagehands.
According to Longley, the most difficult part in casting was “finding boys who could act and sing equally well”.
Chorus member Kathy Wetherill said “the hardest part is getting everyone [to come to practice] and be focused”.
But the cast has now pulled together and is counting on Camelot to be a success, she said. Excitement is mounting.
Although this year’s play takes place in a medieval setting, Longley said she would like to do a more modern play next year, and have auditions to enter the program.
This article is taken from the Peace River Block Daily News, Dawson Creek, with the permission of the publisher. The Daily News retains all rights relating to this material. The information in this article is intended solely for research or general interest purposes.