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Thursday, 10 July 2014 08:30

Emotional and dynamic end to time as a Rosebud school ‘student’ for de Graaf

Written by  Ryan Dahlman
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In order to graduate from the Rosebud School of the Arts, a requirement is a final project.

Lauren de Graaf has one, and it’s quite the project. Normally, student projects aren’t made public, let alone featured, but Wildwood Fire is de Graaf’s take on the story of June Carter Cash and her marriage to the talented, but volatile, Johnny Cash.
Many fans of Rosebud may be surprised de Graaf is a fourth-year mentorship student at Rosebud School of the Arts, having starred in productions such as May and Joe, Cotton Patch Gospel and the recent Chickens. She is officially graduating, but she plans on going out in style — writing and performing a story on one of her favourite all-time performers: June Carter Cash.
de Graaf knew right away what she wanted to do for her assignment.
“I knew a lot about her before I began researching her,” she explains. “I knew how she worked is how I operate and when I watched her on film more, I knew I could play that role.”
If there was ever a further sign and motivation to work on Carter Cash’s story, de Graaf order the artist’s book, Anchored in Love on Amazon. She found an autograph and a message signed June Carter Cash in it. de Graaf had it authenticized and it really was the actual signature which was a huge thrill for the graduating Rosebud star.
While still relatively young and just graduating from the Rosebud School of the Arts de Graaf certainly has the credentials, ability and apparently the motivation and desire to portray the artist. However, it’s quite another challenge to write about her, let alone write a theatrical production.
Enter instructor Kelsey Krogman.
“It took me a while to get the confidence to write this,” explains de Graaf. “I was not confident in my writing, but Kelsey helped a lot.”
It turned out de Graaf was being modest. The play itself was quite good, so compelling that Krogman wanted to be heavily involved. The production went from a school assignment to full bore production at Rosebud with Krogman as a co-writer.
de Graaf has a lot of assistance from the Rosebud staff. She is excited about the opportunity although she says it’s left her vulnerable emotionally. The subject is a volatile one, but the assignment is also significant because it is her final project, about her favourite performer and it’s her first major writing credit on a theatre production. More than that even, it’s because all the way along in her time at Rosebud, she says God has been guiding her and she’s just went with it, no matter how scary it’s been.
“I knew God was with me when I decided to do this (assignment),” explains de Graaf. “God has laid this whole experience for me at Rosebud and now this. I feel good about and I felt I need to write from this place.”
According to a release, there are five performances of Wildwood Fire: July 17 at 11 a.m., July 18 at 4 p.m., July 19 at 11 a.m., and July 20 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The show will play at Rosebud’s Akokiniskway Gallery and tickets are $15 each. Seating is limited so advance reservations are recommended. Phone 1-403-677-2015 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for tickets.

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