Music blared from the speakers in the auditorium at St. Ignatius High School on Saturday as senior drama students ran through a dress rehearsal of their upcoming Christmas show.
“We’re running the play in full because we don’t have time to do it in our class. Costumes, props, lights, music, everything,” said Kyra Erickson, Grade 11 student and assistant director. “It’s really exciting, I anticipate an amazing show. We have a ton of talent, very passionate students, it gets busy at times backstage and in class with memorizing lines but it will definitely be worth it.”
The show, called A Candy Kane Christmas, is described by the students as a family-friendly comedy. The senior drama students have been working on it since the beginning of the school year, explained actor Nick Lepore, Grade 11.
“It’s a long road, honestly, everyone needs to co-operate together, it can be stressful at times but once you’re at this stage when everything starts coming together it’s awesome,” said Lepore. “You know the final product is going to be good and it’s just a fun time.”
Grade 12 student, and actor, Brenna Hankkio said that for the students, the opportunity to put on a play and be involved in every part of the production is a great learning experience.
Aspiring actor and playwrite Andrea Maenpaa, Grade 11, did a lot of work behind the scenes making sure the play looked and sounded good.
“I’m working with the assistant director,” said Maenpaa. “I take notes while we watch the play and write down questions, are the props hard for the actors to handle? Or, are they loud enough? We have to write a lot of stuff down.”
Lepore said what he likes about acting is playing different characters and taking the audience on a journey.
“I think it helps people to step out of their comfort zones and try something new,” said Hankkio. “And as a class I think everyone kind of comes together as a team so you work on so many skills besides acting, it’s teamwork, marketing for promoting the show and also I think it’s such a rewarding feeling when you get to perform and share your talents and hard work with other people.”
For Erickson, the show marks her directing debut and allows her to expand her on her acting abilities.
“Directing is something I’ve always wanted to do and something I would love to do as a profession,” said Erickson. “I’ve always been an actor but never behind the scenes so I thought it would be a really good learning experience.”
The play is about a young teen named Candy Kane who struggles with her identity because of her name. During the show Kane enlists friends to help her re-invent herself. Through a series of comedic mishaps, Kane discovers a lot about herself and the true meaning of Christmas.
“The ultimate message behind the play is about giving back rather than focusing on yourself,” said Brenna Hankkio, Grade 12. “We also are doing some donating and we’re giving to the Salvation Army, so it goes with the whole theme of giving back at Christmas.”
Patrons are invited to bring donations of canned food each night of the play that will be given to the Salvation Army. A portion of the ticket sales will also be donated to the organization.
The show will premiere on Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. with a second showing on Dec. 20, tickets are $8.