Tree Story comes alive at Lake Trail

THE TREE STORY is an original tale being dramatized by TheatreWorks

THE TREE STORY is an original tale being dramatized by TheatreWorks. The play will be presented this Saturday at Lake Trail Middle School.

‘Once upon a time is the beginning of many stories old and new.  This Saturday, it will be the starting phrase of TheatreWorks’ latest play, the family friendly show Red Bird, Blue Bird, Alligator Jump or simply The Tree Story.

The current TheatreWorks StoryTheatre class will perform an original script, written by the students and instructor Kymme Patrick. The play tells a tale set in a magical forest because — as one character helpfully informs us — “all good stories have a magical forest” and is one children of all ages will love.

Despite the implications of its name The Tree Story is not, in fact, a story about a tree but rather the creatures that live on and underneath it — brilliantly coloured birds, flying alligators, theatrical monkeys.

However, in each group, there is somebody just a little bit different, leading to them being excluded from the group.

“I knew I wanted to explore the theme of exclusion very early on,” Patrick says. “We agreed there is still a need to address bully awareness.

“It’s something that every child encounters — whether it’s because of their hair colour, their clothing or physical attributes — and I feel that it’s important for children to see that being different is not a bad thing.”

The challenge to do something about it was eagerly accepted by Patrick’s class, a group whose ages range from early to late teens. Be it improvising scenes or actually helping to write the script, the teenagers have been with Patrick for every step of the creative process.

“I started off wanting to write about superheroes,” Patrick elaborates. “Then three of my students improvised a scene in which they portrayed birds getting kicked out of the nest. That idea was the first of many brainstorming ideas that created The Tree Story.”

TheatreWorks has a history of putting on shows for, and also created by, children and its Story Theatre shows may well become a tradition of quality entertainment linked with awareness of community issues.

This class has already mounted a previous play, involving many of the same students, entitled Pirates, Reindeer, and Elves, Oh My! It was performed in December and enjoyed immensely by an audience made up of adults and children as well as garnering items and cash for the food bank. Written in the same vein, The Tree Story is aimed towards kids but is entirely family-friendly and will have adults giggling as well.

Not only is The Tree Story fun, but it is also being put on for a good cause. All proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, a foundation that funds cancer research and does all it can to support cancer victims and their families.

Since her recent personal bout with cancer, it is a cause close to Patrick’s heart and she is proud that her students have chosen to support the relay event.

The Tree Story will be performed this Saturday at 1 p.m. in Lake Trail Middle School’s drama room, with entry by donation. Not only will this delightful tale have you laughing but you may find yourself uttering a poignant, “Awww” at several scenes as well.

After all, who doesn’t love finding out what comes after ‘Once upon a time…’?

— TheatreWorks


Comox Valley Record