By Stuart Fullarton
Sylvan Lake News
A group of actors from all over Central Alberta have been converging on Sylvan Lake once a week for the past couple of months, in preparation for their comedy musical, Romeo and Harriet, which is showing this week.
The group — Central Alberta Homeschool Players — consists of 38 home-educated actors between the ages of 12 and 18, who come from Sylvan Lake, Eckville, Red Deer, Sundre, Olds, Rocky Mountain House, Bentley, Airdrie, and other areas throughout the region.
They’re back in Sylvan Lake having entertained here last year, and have been busy rehearsing at Gospel Chapel, where four shows are taking place this week, beginning yesterday (Wednesday). The last will take place tomorrow (Friday) night.
Director Debbie Zepick is excited to bring the young group’s talents to the stage in Sylvan Lake, and promises audiences plenty of laughter, silliness, and family-friendly entertainment.
“This takes a spoof on (William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet),” she said. “There’s nothing deep, there’s nothing theological and there’s nothing redemptive. It’s just total foolishness from beginning to end.”
The group began rehearsing in early January, and its members have been familiarizing themselves with the stage and surroundings at Gospel Chapel.
Zepick said the environment in which the play will take place is an ideal size for the group, and allows them to make full use of their acting and singing abilities.
“We need a facility that’s not too big so we can do sound support well enough,” she said. “We don’t have the big headset mics for every actor, and I kind of resist that, too, because I like them to learn to project and to learn to be able to fill the room with their voices.”
Weekly access to the church has afforded the group the ability to polish its performance before going live, and Zepick’s grateful to have such a place to rehearse.
“We’re very thankful to the Gospel Chapel for the opportunity,” she said. “We realize that they have to change some of what they do to accommodate us, but they’ve been willing to do that, and we so appreciate that.”
With many of the student actors living in the country, she’s glad to have kept every scheduled rehearsal — a feat made somewhat tricky given recent extreme winter weather.
Remaining performances will take place at Gospel Chapel at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. today (Thursday), and 7 p.m. tomorrow (Friday).
Admission is by free will offering.