Under the direction of Drama Teacher Shauna Murdoch, the students of the Rimbey Junior/Senior high School took to the stage last Thursday to perform for the public as part of a Dessert Theatre.
The students performed two plays, one of which recently won them an award at a competition in Ponoka.
“I’ve got two groups of students that have been rehearsing vigorously after school on their own time for the One-Act Drama Zones competition that was held recently in Ponoka at St. Augustine High School,” Murdoch said. “One play was award winning and one wasn’t, but we have two students who won awards and the one play won Best Ensemble.”
One of the plays, The Empty Chair, written by Tim Kelly, focused on a group of teens in a drug-rehabilitation situation when one of them overdoses, won the award along with Sidney Jones who won Best Actress for her performance.
The other, entitled, When God Comes to Breakfast, You Don’t Burn the Toast, is a comedy written by Gary Apple, features a husband who informs his wife at midnight that God will be joining them for breakfast the next morning, and the chaos that ensues.
For his performance in that play, Peter Lawson was presented with a Best Actor award.
“We only took two plays to compete – Ponoka Composite High School had four plays so they won more awards, Murdoch said. “We won some awards last year, so the kids were really pumped and excited so we went and they did an awesome job.”
The troupe staged two performances last Thursday. In addition to the Dessert Theatre in the evening that charged $10, they also performed that afternoon for their schoolmates.
Murdoch said the gate receipts from the evening show will be used to fund bigger and better productions in the future as well as to purchase some much needed supplies for the school’s food program.
Unlike previous years, Murdoch said things went much smoother this time around; thanks in large part, to another experienced teacher and theatre buff.
“I’ve been helped out this year – I was lucky to get a fellow teacher on staff here who has had some drama experience and stuff, and he helped me out and it was great,” she said. “His name is Gary Hiebert and he made things much easier.”
In addition, Murdoch was also quick to acknowledge the efforts put forth by her hard-working students.
“We’re looking for the next big play in the fall or spring of next year. We’re going to do more competitions,” she said. “The kids do it all on their own time – it’s sort of like a sports team which really says a lot to their character and their love of theatre.”