Thursday, July 25, 2024

GBSS Drama Group in Final Preparations for ‘The Red Velvet Cake War’

By Caleb Jones, Student Reporter

A group of GBSS Drama enthusiasts have been busily preparing for the annual stage production in two weeks time.  This year’s production, entitled ‘The Red Velvet Cake War’, will continue with the tradition of having a dinner theatre night, as well as a performance only night.

Local students will also have an opportunity to view the play during the school day.

The production, which is almost entirely student-run, continues this year after last year’s successful ‘The Princess Bride’, and 2012’s ‘Without A Clue’ murder mystery. The group functions with assistance from Drama teacher Mr. Barry Bayne- but all the actors, the director, stage crew, technical crew, and all other theatrical responsibilities- belong to students.

This year, Caleb Jones functions as the director, MJ Wright works as the Stage/Co- Director, and Matt Couchman as the Technical Director- all three of whom are Grade 11 students at GBSS. Many other students have and will be aiding in other parts of the production.

The script comes from Dramatists Play Service Inc, and was written by the team of Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten. The group purchased the rights to perform the play last October, and have been gearing up for it all year.

Several of the leading drama students who have run the program for the past number of years, have graduated in the last 2 years- leaving this year’s production to be run mainly by Grade 10 and 11 students. Although it’s been an adjustment, the students have learned a lot, and are optimistic that the play will match and grow on the success of previous years.

The dinner portion will once again be provided by the acclaimed Hospitality program. Like previous years, the group will provide a high quality meal prior to the production, as well as dessert during intermission. And this year’s dessert will have a special tie in to the play- a taste of Red Velvet Cake.

Kassidy Irwin portrays the leading character, Gaynelle, and has thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the production. “I feel that it is definitely a good year for the GBSS Drama program,” Irwin said, “This year we are able to have a smaller cast, so we are more tight and united.”

To describe her character, she said that “Gaynelle is a person who really needs just to have someone there for her. She is a very relatable character because she’s going through tough times and really needs people to help her through it.”

Despite that dramatic character description, it truly is a comedy from all angles. With many enjoyable one-liners, over the top characters, kooky situations and a twisting plot-line, the play is designed to get the audience laughing. The play sets a fast pace, and throws out one event after another until the exciting conclusion.

The story centres on Gaynelle , Jimmie Wyvette and Peaches- three middle- aged Texas cousins all in the midst of sticky situations involving their respective love interests. Gaynelle’s situation leads her to being evaluated by a psychologist to deem that she is mentally acute, so the three cousins plan to hold a family reunion to prove her sanity. Unfortunately, everything goes wrong- from surly relatives, to cooking fiasco’s, to legal trouble. In typical Texas fashion, everything explodes bigger and brighter, leading to ridiculous catastrophes that the cousins are determined to resolve.

Irwin, Keara Peterson and Zoe Young lead as the three cousins. They are supported by Leah Coyne as local talk show host CeeCee Windham, Fox Leithead as the oldest family member Aubrey , Sara Harvey as LaMerle-the cousins’ nasty aunt, Nick Hallman as the eccentric one-eyed Newt, and Tesla Biggins as Elsa the European psychologist. The cast is rounded out by Gillian Hallman, Thomas Hebbert, and Clare Nicoll as other crazy family members.

The dates for the production are Thursday, May 29th for the Dinner Theatre, and Friday, May 30th for the Theatre-only showing. The cost is $30 for the dinner, or $15 for a child’s half meal, and $15 for the Friday night show. The possibility also exists to come only for the theater on the Thursday night, for $15. The play will be presented in the GBSS Gymnasium on both nights.

The drama group, the AIM (Arts in Motion) program, and the GBSS Administration all would appreciate as much community support as possible for this event. All proceeds go towards the Arts programs at GBSS and towards the continued availability of high-quality arts education at the school.

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