Love theme for Chat Showcase

It's going to be a fantastic show. That's the word from several of the students who will appear in this year's Showcase of the Performing Arts at Chatelech Secondary School on Tuesday, April 8. The annual showcase has a new twist this year.

"The theme is love in all its crazy forms: love for lovers, friends, even self-love and love of food," said drama teacher Paddy McCallum. Also this year, the showcase is more student-driven by the kids who are enrolled in acting 11/12, drama 9/10, video production 11/12 and art.

Traditionally, the showcase is a fundraiser for the fine arts and performing arts students' scholarships and a chance for any talented student to sing, dance or display their art in the lobby, screen or stage. This year, the showcase, entitled Love is a Many Splendoured Thing, presents five plays - four short pieces and a full play, Switching Places, by Rex Deverell. Eating in the Dark, featuring students Chanté Blais, Isla Bolton and Sarah Casey, is about a woman whose stomach accompanies her to the movies and ruins the evening. Like/Love, directed by Jordan Martel and Jessica Borthwick, explores that challenging grey area between friendship and romance. The third short piece is The Lesson with Ariane Martin, Odessa Harrison and Jessica Borthwick.

One of the plays that will likely be the highlight, according to stage manager Adélie Houle Lachance is a lovely, calm piece by playwright Wendy MacLaughlin, Watermelon Boats, in which two girls (played by Meaghan Stewart and Hannah Westlake) mark the passage of friendship over time.

"You'll learn something from it," said Houle Lachance. The Grade 11 student became interested in drama when she stopped in to a class to watch a friend. "I loved it right away," she said, but her interest is not just in acting. As stage manager for the show, she will breathe a sigh of relief when everything runs smoothly.

"I think Switching Places will also stand out," she comments. "It's very comical."

Herb Browning agrees. He plays Macho God in Switching Places, a character who makes a bet with Sex Goddess (Kendra Graham) regarding two mortals, performed by Jeremy Morris and Kaeli McCarter. If the goddess takes up the wager, then the god will admit to the world that females are better than males.

"It's a 'what if' play," he said. "What if a guy becomes pregnant?" Judging by the ending, it's likely that both genders will be satisfied with the outcome. Browning, now in Grade 12, has been studying drama throughout his high school days and plans to make it his career.

Between the plays, several talented students will offer live music. James Weekes will play piano in addition to operating the stage audio (along with Chelsea Leech on audio booth). Hannah Westlake sings in Italian and there will also be guitar and songs from Christian Nepoose and Madison Fancher. A DVD of artwork will run in the theatre and student-made videos will be on display in the foyer. MCs for the evening are Odessa Harrison and Arianne Martin, both acting 11 students and both very involved in the arts.

The show starts at 7 p.m. in the Chatelech Theatre on Tuesday, April 8, for one performance only. Adult admission is $10, students and children, $8. Tickets are available at the school or at Talewind Books.

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