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Friday, 02 November 2012 08:20

The Secret Garden was an entertaining night

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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The Swift Current Allied Arts Council’s Koncerts 4 Kids and Missoula Children’s Theatre put on another fantastic production last weekend, with more than 60 local students making up the cast and crew of The Secret Garden.


“The actors from Missoula who put on the production this year were very impressed with the talents of the kids who came out to the auditions, and that’s nice to see,” said Melanie Friesen with Koncerts 4 Kids.
“The kids worked really hard all week, and put on a great performance for their families and friends.”
This is the fourth year the program has been offered in Swift Current, and Friesen feels it has been successful. In addition to working with the children who are involved in the production, the staff from Missoula Children’s Theatre also work with local students at workshops held in schools throughout the community.
“I think there’s not a whole lot of opportunity for kids to do acting when they are in younger grades,” Friesen noted.
“Once they get to the high school, they can start doing drama productions there, but this is a chance for kids to get a bit of a head start in that type of thing.”
She added for other children, who aren’t involved in sports, it’s a great way to participate in a different kind of extra-curricular activity. Since the production is also a lot of fun, many students get involved each fall.
“Once we get a child out and auditioning, they just want to keep coming back,” explained Friesen. “The kids are always so excited at rehearsals, and then the actual production is just such a big deal for them. It’s really great to see.”
This year’s production had more than 300 people in the crowd, but Friesen is hopeful eventually, they will fill the Sky Centre to its capacity of 500. They do see a lot of support from the community, not only as audience members.
“The business community supports us very strongly, as well,” she noted. “Since there is no charge to the kids to come out and do this, we have to raise funds through corporate sponsorship. We’ve been very well supported over the last few years, and we are so grateful. It’s nice for us to offer this to kids at no charge, because then there is nothing stopping them from coming out.”
Everything is uniquely tailored to suit the children — the production is refined to work with the selected cast, and even the costumes and sets are beautiful and well-made. All the children need to do is concentrate on remembering their lines and have fun.
“The audition process is kind of nerve-wracking, but for kids to be able to get the courage to go through that and then come out on stage is so great, it really gives them a sense of accomplishment,” Friesen explained. “They have do work with other people and make sure that they do their job so they don’t let down the rest of the group. I really think it helps build their confidence, and helps them really be themselves. It’s a lot of fun, but they’re learning at the same time.”
Students performing in the production included:
• Meisie Chamberlain as title character Mary Lennox;
• Rebecca Treen as Martha Sowerby;
• Luke Wilson as Dickon Sowerby;
• Jessie Schwartz as Susan Sowerby;
• Stevie Levorson as Colin Craven;
• Krishin Hockridge as Archibald Craven;
• Kalea Sauder as Ayah/Bilge Rat/Captain;
• Nikki Schwartz as Mrs. Medlock;
• Elliott Gross as Doctor Craven;
• Dayton Underhill as Ben Weatherstaff;
• Keanna Friesen as Robin Redbreast.
The Bugs that Rock included:
• Mickalie Nicholson;
• Jenna St. Jacques;
• Kasie Weston;
• Jenny Hope;
• Kristina Wiebe;
• Sage Francis;
• Cierra Kohls;
• Shae St. Jacques.
Canadian Geese were played by:
• Carlos Marquez;
• Larissa Francis;
• Amisha Hockridge;
• Preston Cormier;
• Nicole Wiebe;
• Luke Regier;
• Madison Dyck;
• Milan Yeo;
• Sara Booth;
• Olivia Gross.
Appearing as the Moor Folk:
• Kalli Moberg; Autumn Dyck; Kamryn Johnson; Abby Sauder; Rylee White; Kamryn Underhill; Josiah Bezanson, and Brooklyn Choo-Foo.
The Fireflies were played by:
• Avery Underhill;
• Jayden Steenberg;
• Stowe Francis;
• Brady Wilson;
• Veda Gottselig;
• Keyandra Taylor;
• Laura Corrigal.
Roles of the Secret Garden were played by: 
• Sophie Regier;
• Allandra Garza;
• Adriana Hoskin;
• Celix Taylor;
• Isabelle Gottselig;
• Georgia Wilson;
• Kameron Weston;
• Nalani Chan;
• Hayden Hornung;
• Spencer Dyck;
• Morgan White;
• Jordan Steenberg;
• Emilia Tupy.
Assistant Directors were:
• Sierra Francis and Kaia Hessie.

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