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Although the weather has been absolutely gorgeous lately, it is not quite spring. But that is not stopping the Holy Redeemer drama department from preparing their annual spring one-act plays.

“We love producing these plays,” says drama teacher Peter Taylor. “Each year, we find some lesser known plays that always bring some very unique challenges to our students. And this year is no different.”

For those people unaware of the process, each year Holy Redeemer produces three one-act plays (two senior high and one junior) for performances at the school’s Dessert Theatre in April. In addition, these plays are also submitted to the Zone Drama Festival where they are showcased with other schools across the region.

“It’s always an incredible experience,” says Taylor. “Our students put a lot of work into these shows and are anxious to find out everyone’s reactions.”

The two senior high productions are entitled If It Don’t Hurt, It Ain’t Love and Postponing the Heat Death of the Universe. Both shows have student-directors who are grade 12 students and veterans in the HRH Drama Program. The former is being directed by Janae Cumberland, who has been a mainstay in the drama program as a part of the backstage crew. “Anyone who knows me understands I get stage fright,” says Cumberland who adds she always felt at ease behind the scenes. “But when I had the opportunity to direct my own play and create a vision based on my past experiences with other shows, I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.” The play tells the story of a young woman, Cathy (Mackenzie Brown), who is undergoing treatment for cancer at a hospital. While there, she must handle the emotional demands of her mother (Tania Sweet), a friendly orderly she falls in love with (Isaac Rondeau), and an experienced doctor (Derek Knight). “This show is such a powerful piece,” says Cumberland. “If we hit this, we know we’ll have a strong emotional response from the audience.” Rounding out the crew is Kaitlin Adam, Brittanie Darr-Desrosiers, and Kaili Redlick.

Postponing the Heat Death of the Universe is the story of an unusual relationship between two academic college students, Nick (Tyler Habdas) and Jackie (Emily Pole). “This show’s bizarre themes and emotional chemistry really stuck out to me,” says director Linsey Werbiski. “It requires amazing chemistry from the two actors, as well as some quick comedic timing.” The play will also see Darilyn Randall, who will be acting in her eighth production at HRH, play a strong supporting role. The crew is made up of Kristin Clark, Cassidy Gauchier and Courtney Wild.

Meanwhile, the grade 7-9 production entitled The Bloody Attack of the Evil, Demonic Giraffe Puppet is sure to leave audiences laughing. “It’s such a great play,” says grade 9 student Jaryd Taylor who will be playing the lead role of Rupert, a student trying to make an important documentary that goes horribly wrong. “The best part is we get to make a movie. I don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll just say that you won’t want to miss it”. The cast will be a mix between strong veteran actors like Taylor, Shaden Damen, Sydney Fogarty, Bryn Haack, Daniel Handford and Ben Johns, while also see some one-act debuts from Camden Barron, Samantha Darr-Desrosiers, Kesha Davis, Warren DeVries, Kayla Ford, Brendan Inscho, Kaitlyn Krebs, Lauren MacArthur, Sydney McClintock, Harleigh McNaughton, Josie Sorensen and Karly Williams. Rounding out the group is Emma Graham and Samantha Marler who will serve as the crew.

All three shows will now spend the next two months rehearsing for The 10th Annual Evening of Desserts and Entertainment (Dessert Theatre) on April 19 and 20.

The Dessert Theatre will also feature an art & photography show. “Each year so many students create some really amazing work,” says art teacher Sandy Fedorak. “Our school is so blessed to have some very talented artists.” The Art Show will once again be shown a day before the Dessert Theatre on April 18. “We always encourage the public to come out support our young artists,” says Fedorak.

A week after the Dessert Theatre, all three plays will enter the Zone 2West Drama Festival in Spruce Grove. The shows will have some big shoes to fill as the school won both junior and senior high Best Production awards.

There is no doubt that Holy Redeemer definitely has a history of great performances; the awards they’ve won are an attest to that, so you can be sure to see some great shows this April.

Tickets for the Dessert Theatre go on sale on March 15, and are available by calling the school office at 780-723-7437.

If you would like more information on this article please feel free to contact the school at 780-723-7437 or holyredeemerhigh.ca. Feel free to visit our Facebook page, “Holy Redeemer High School” or our Twitter account: @holyredeemerhig

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Mackenze's 2012 School Award!