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LP Stage Productions brings ‘Dear Edwina’ to Grace Tipling

October 30, 2015   ·   0 Comments

The gymnasium at Shelburne High School was a busy, noisy, happy place Thursday night as the 31 young performers from LP Stage Productions tried on costumes and rehearsed songs and dances for the company’s latest production Dear Edwina opening November 19th. LP Stage Productions, true to form, has opened their company to throngs of kids that have watched their excellent youth productions and said to Mom and Dad, “I want to be part of that!”
Director, Kristen Gamache says the biggest challenge with Dear Edwina has been communicating the theme to the energetic group of little actors. “The show is centred on Edwina, an enthusiastic ‘advice-giver extraordinaire’,” says Gamache. “The neighbourhood kids gather every week to perform in her weekly advice giving show, performed for her family and neighbours. Various letters are written to Edwina throughout the show, asking for her advice, to which she, and her quirky cast, responds through musical numbers, delivering a solution to the letter with excellent morals. Getting the kids to understand that it’s a show within a show has definitely been a challenge as well as staging the numbers – it has to make sense for the audience.” The company has integrated creative, but very simple, set changes and lighting effects that will help clarify the story line and make the show exciting.
This is 25 year old Gamache’s first time directing a show solo, and she described “what a thrill it has been” to the Free Press. “From day one, rehearsals have been the highlight of my week. Watching the characters develop, watching the kids gain confidence, and seeing everyone moving, dancing and performing as a group is honestly the most rewarding experience any person could ask for.”
Gamache herself has been dancing, acting and performing since she was five – gaining valuable experience from many different directors, choreographers, actors, and performers over the years. She finished several years of competitive dance in 2007 and continued to perform and gather experience; in 2011, Kristen choreographed her first show with LP Stage Productions and has remained the resident choreographer ever since. The talented dancer has also choreographed for the Brampton Music Theatre, and is in her second year of writing and co-directing a production in collaboration with Theatre Orangeville and Community Living Dufferin – following up on her success with Little Red in the Hood. On top of all this, Kristen is now teaching competitive and recreational dance at Dance Fuel in Shelburne.
Gamache says LP Stage Company’s ultimate goal is to build confidence and skills in youth on stage, and encourage them to pursue theatre as a career. “This year we have teenager Julia Herzberg, a well seasoned performer with LP Stage Productions, co-directing alongside me,” says Gamache. “She has been learning how to lead warm-ups, theatre games and exercises, and has been helping to run every rehearsal. Julia will also have a scene and her own choreography featured in the show. We have over 10 new kids this year, some of whom have never been on stage before, or are new to this experience, including our lead character Edwina Spoonapple played by Willow Cherewaty. By rehearsing and becoming a part of a cast and team, they gain the skills and confidence to perform their hearts out and delight audiences.”
Gamache’s biggest thrill has been her front row seat to “seeing it all come together.” She says “seeing how much the characters have developed from the first day of rehearsal is such an amazing part of it, finding little quirks and surprises that I didn’t even know would exist.” She says the audience can expect “one exciting musical number after the other, with three part harmonies and some really tough and exciting choreography.” The audience will also walk away from the show with some “excellent lessons and morals and will have enjoyed many laughs and even some tears, as Edwina and her cast share and learn from her advice.”
Performances for Dear Edwina run for one weekend only: Thursday November 19th at 8 p.m.; Friday November 20th at 8 p.m.; Saturday November 21st at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday November 22nd at 2 p.m. All performances are at Grace Tipling Hall in Shelburne and tickets are now available online at lpstageproductionsinc.com or call the Town Hall at 519 925-2600 ext. 0. Tickets will also be available at the door of each performance – cash only.

By Marni Walsh

         

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