It’s Wednesday morning and Theresa Browning’s drama class is practically still asleep.
Pockets of students sit with their sock feet propped up in the front row of the auditorium as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty practise their lines on the stage.
After a long pause in the dialogue, Browning asks the class if it’s still too early in the day for them.
“I’m barely functioning right now,” the stage manager says from deep in the auditorium.
Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty finish their scene and the next group steps onto the stage: Billy Bonkers, Charles and Grandpa.
The production, “EXPOSED!”, was chosen by the Grade 9/10 class in the fall.
“It’s got all the little different parts in it so everybody could choose what they wanted,” says Browning.
The play takes a look at well-known fairytales and flips them on their head.
“The fairytales most people know today aren’t the original fairytales,” says Browning.
“EXPOSED!” puts a light-hearted spin on the stories.
We meet Rumpelstiltskin, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel, Gretel, Peter Pan and more characters from the tales.
For some of the class, it will be their first time performing on the big stage.
Grade 9 student Halley Callaghan is no stranger to the stage. A dancer, Callaghan is playing Sleeping Beauty and Tinkerbell.
She’s really enjoyed getting into the characters.
“Tinkerbell is really spunky and angry and she’s really small but she has lots of energy and I really like that,” she says. “Sleeping Beauty is really narcoleptic and kind of self-involved so that was kind of fun.”
The students consult Browning on their costumes.
“It’s a collaborative effort,” says Browning.
They’ll talk about their vision for the costume and delve into Browning’s costume cupboard, sometimes bringing an item or two from home.
For Callaghan’s Sleeping Beauty costume, she’s wearing a pink formal dress that Browning once wore to prom.
Students work on all aspects of the production. They act, design posters, programs and tickets, do the lighting, and build the sets.
As the cast runs through the play, Raylin Robinson and Andie Reynolds paint the inside of Little Red’s house in the drama classroom across the hall.
They say the work is time consuming.
A castle dries on the floor as they paint the home’s interior in brown.
Their favourite: the witch’s house for Hansel and Gretel.
“It’s more fun to design,” says Reynolds.
“It’s all over the place,” says Robinson. “But looks good at the same time.”
Back in the auditorium, another group is on the stage.
“I hope (people are) enchanted by the fairytale aspect of it,” says Browning, “and that they enjoy the possibility that the fairytale wasn’t what you thought it was originally.”
“EXPOSED!” hits the stage at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 and 17 at the Performing Arts Centre.