“It’s funny how a show about maintaining your inner child made us mature,“ explains Valerie Tsimonidis-Gougeou who played Captain Hook’s right-hand man, Mr. Smee, in CVR’s rendition of Neverland.
On Wednesday morning, the class offered a preview of the show to the local elementary schools. The auditorium was filled to the brim with students sitting on the edge of their seats, enthralled with the performance from start to finish. With the end of each scene, the applause and cheers grew progressively louder. Music teacher and co-director, Lynn Harper, explains that it helped the performers gain momentum: “That was a really rich experience for our students … the adrenaline rises the minute the audience gives them that kind of energy.”
When asked what they attribute the success of the show to, it is without hesitation that they respond: “teamwork.” They make it clear that it is a team effort and if any element of the team were missing, the show would not reach its full potential. As Rosemary, who plays Wendy, so eloquently sums it up: “We’re like a melody, we all fit together and we’re all in it together to build a scene and build the show.”
At the end of the show, the cast came out to interact with the students while remaining in character. It had the younger students mesmerized and the cast quickly realized that they had attained their goal of making the audience believe their characterization.
Dance teacher and co-director, Cindel Chartrand, observed that “If there was something they weren’t comfortable with [just yet], the moment they put their costumes on and did their hair and make-up, it was like BAM!” Babin agrees and finishes her sentence saying “They became the character!” This is not surprising considering the elaborate compilation of costumes that were made by volunteer Beryl Myatt. The costumes were also able to be taken to the next level thanks to generous donations from Huntingdon Auto Parts who made the hook for Captain Hook’s costume. Donations were also made from D & R Foam in Laval and G.M Fournier/Timbermart in Huntingdon which helped take the set to the next level. The set was designed by the teachers/directors, Lynn Harper, Dawna Babin, and Cindel Chartrand, and built by volunteers Stanley Myatt, Robert Campbell, and Michael Iskra as well as some prop contributions from Dawna Babin’s set design class.
As for how the teachers overcame the hurdle inherent in choosing Peter Pan—the challenge as to how they would make Peter fly— that still remains top-secret and though they resorted to an alternative for preview performance, the mystery is set to be revealed tonight as Peter takes flight to bring Wendy, her brothers and the rest of the audience on a grand tour through Neverland.
The show is set to take the stage at the school’s auditorium starting tonight and running through until Saturday evening. Showtimes are as follows and tickets can be reserved by calling the school’s office at 450-829-2381.
Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.
Friday, January 29, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. (matinee)
Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.