The Show Must Go On!
Through a series of unforeseen circumstances, planned stage performances by five young people under the direction of Stephanie Roth of Ladysmith didn’t take place at the originally intended locations but still happened on the same dates at different venues.
And now the cast of the Brave, a live musical revue, is set to perform a well-rehearsed show on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Chemainus 55+ Activity Centre. Sponsored by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society, admission is free.
“Without the support of the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society, we wouldn’t have been able to do that there,” said Roth. “They arranged to have us perform there.”
The five participants range in age from 12-15 and are all from Ladysmith-Chemainus, Duncan and Nanaimo.
“They became fast friends,” noted Roth. “They have this thing in common – the performing element, the creativity. That is really the point, to offer a place for people who are creative and are young in our community.”
Roth, the namesake behind the Stephanie Roth Performing Arts Studio, has been working with the group since April. They had been poised to first present the show at the Chemainus Health Care Centre for the residents.
“The original concept was to go into the care centre and offer our spirits in song to them,” said Roth.
When that couldn’t happen, it was on to Plan B at Eden Gardens in Nanaimo Aug. 23 and then Aug. 27 at the Ladysmith Little Theatre in place of another proposed date at the Waterwheel Park Bandshell in Chemainus.
“We’ve been working so hard and we were able to do it anyway,” said Roth. “It was actually quite wonderful how it all played out.”
The show at the Ladysmith Little Theatre was performed in front of family and friends.
“It was so successful,” Roth enthused. “Their families loved it.”
The performers include: Ace Copp, Laura Parkyn, Caidence Burns, Janelle Sharpe and Sierra Jones.
They initially started with rehearsals once a week lasting two to two-and-a-half hours at the Saltair Community Centre “where we’d talk about the concept of the show and their contribution, it was a collaborative effort,” explained Roth.
They continued once a week until the end of the school term in June and then took a break during July before resuming. They then moved over to the Ladysmith Little Theatre for longer and more frequent sessions.
“I could see they were all very excited to be in a theatre and for some this was their first time on stage – it was very exciting!” noted Roth.
It was a case of good fortune for the group to perform for Eden Gardens in Nanaimo and at the Ladysmith Little Theatre. The theatre board generously donated the space and all that comes with it – the space, the sound and lights, everything. People also donated their time and expertise with sound and lighting, and greeting audience members.
“It took a little army to put our show on,” Roth conceded. “We did it and are so thankful for their support. Ladysmith Little Theatre was super fun because we had lighting, sound and costumes. I am so proud of the cast and all they have accomplished.”
They’re still intending to perform at the Chemainus Health Care Centre when it’s feasible. In the meantime, the community can enjoy Saturday’s free public event at the 55+ Activity Centre in Chemainus that showcases some superb performers in the making.
“I’ve enjoyed getting to know this group of fine young people and seeing them blossom,” Roth concluded.
The Stephanie Roth Performing Arts Studio has just started fall classes at the Ladysmith Little Theatre for budding young performers. Go to www.stephanieroth.ca for information.