Home play leads to Stage House Theatre
Hannah Franes is looking forward to that moment when Anne-Arky is finally presented at the Stage House Theatre.
The 16-year-old is familiar with theatre, having been a student at Western Canada Theatre’s Stage One courses, but then, there was someone else directing the plays.
This time, it’s Hannah and two other students overseeing the play — and they’ve been involved from before a script was chosen, through building the sets, creating the costumes, making the posters and selling the tickets.
Hannah and all the other students involved in the project are home-schooled, most through the Self-Design High School program.
Donna Vanderlip, whose children Cora and Lukas are also in the program — and Stage One veterans — approached local actor and theatre educator Terri Runnalls to see if she’d work with the group on a theatre-arts project.
Runnalls said she has acted mainly as a mentor, with the students taking on every task involved to stage a play.
They began by looking for possible scripts they could work with, bringing them to a class and discussing their merits. From that, Runnalls said, Anne-Arky was chosen.
The play by Lindsay Price, who has written several plays for high-school students, is about a high-school drama club about to present Anne of Green Gables.
Everything is proceeding smoothly when a rumour spreads there is an acting agent in the audience. The students all scramble to be discovered and mayhem ensues.
“The idea there is an agent in the audience makes everyone freaky,” Hannah said.
“The play is really, really funny.”
Although each is home-schooled, the students knew each other through the community that has sprung up in Kamloops supporting the Self-Design program.
That made it easier to work together, Hannah said, and make decisions.
“Nothing’s been really hard,” she said, “although it is getting a bit nerve-wracking.
“I’ll be glad when we are doing the actual play.
It will be presented at the theatre, 422 Tranquille Rd., from Thursday, Feb. 7, to Saturday, Feb. 9.
Students have been involved in everything from creating the sets to putting together the costumes to handling the marketing and promotion.
They’ve designed posters and tickets and are now, as they finish rehearsals, out promoting their creation.
Runnalls said the process has been rewarding for her because, although she has worked with some of the students as the head of Stage One, “so many of these kids have never set foot on a stage.”
She took on the project outside her work as the education co-ordinator for WCT.
While her charges may be nervous about their impending debuts, Runnalls — herself a veteran actor in Kamloops — has no doubt they’ll do great.
“They’ve done it all,” she said, “and they’ve been great. They’ll do great.”
Tickets are $10 each — the money will go to pay the costs associated with the production — and are available at the door or by calling 250-554-2388.
Showtime is 7 p.m.