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Salmon Arm Secondary theatre students ready to rock the ’80s with upcoming musical

Drama theatre students to deliver fairytale princess sendup with 67 Cinderellas
Salmon Arm Secondary Music Theatre students Brody Grove and Bobby-Grace Hall show off the retro chic attire they’ll be wearing in the school’s upcoming production, Back to the 80s: A Totally Awesome Musical, which runs Jan. 18 to 21. (Contributed)

Salmon Arm Secondary students are looking forward to once again opening the Sullivan campus theatre doors to the public, with two performances planned for the new year.

Sullivan Drama 11-12 students have been busy preparing to have some fun with a farcical retelling of The Little Glass Slipper (aka Cinderella) with the Stacy Lane play 67 Cinderellas. After sharing a dance with a mysterious party crasher, who happens to leave behind a glass slipper, the smitten Prince Dalliance seeks to find her by trying the found footwear on every woman in the kingdom. As it turns out, the slipper winds up being a more common size than anticipated.

Teacher Danielle Berger said the play is lighthearted and suitable for all ages.

“I thought there is a lot of uncertainty and serious content going on in our world right now, so we wanted to be able to provide a bit of a joyful outlet for the students and anyone who is going to come watch,” said Berger.

The students are looking after all aspects of the play, front and back. Berger said her husband has been lending a hand with set design.

Berger is also directing a second upcoming public performance at the Sullivan theatre: Back to the 80s: A Totally Awesome Musical. Written by Neil Gooding, the play will feature a large cast of SAS Music Theatre students, live musicians and 21 hits from the decade that brought you such things as big hair, slap bracelets, neon clothing, the Moonwalk and the Walkman.

“It’s about a group of high school students in very stereotypical roles,” said Berger. “You have your nerds, your cool kids and kids who don’t fit in… and they’re dressed in every neon colour imaginable and they’re basically just trying to make it through their final year in high school.”

Berger said the play was a big undertaking but has turned out to be a good fit, given how the 1980s has made something of a comeback.

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“I needed to make sure it was right for the kids and they were willing to put that time and effort in, and once I realized this definitely was an appropriate class I went with it and they jumped onboard right away. The ’80s are really in right now so all of the costumes are what the students wear every day and if they don’t they can get them from their moms’ closets,” laughed Berger.

Berger said the school did two productions last year. However, due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shows were enjoyed live only by students attending the school. She said the shows were also filmed and shared on Youtube.

“There’s definitely something to say about a live audience and having people from the community here to support them…,” said Berger. “When you have people who are paying and taking time out of their busy schedules to come, there’s just a bit more positive pressure for the actors to make sure they’re really on it.

“Having said that, the students are that much more excited and appreciative for the opportunity to sell these tickets and to get out in the community.”

67 Cinderellas runs Jan. 12-14, and Back to the ’80s runs Jan. 18 to 21. For each show tickets are $10, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and showtime at 6.

Tickets will be available at the SAS Sullivan campus when school resumes on Jan. 4. Berger encouraged people purchase tickets as soon as possible. As of Dec. 16, health restrictions allowed the theatre to run at only half capacity.
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Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor of the Salmon Arm Observer, Shuswap Market, and Eagle Valley News. I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to keep our readers informed and engaged.
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