Traveling to a new country with some of your best friends over March Break, what more could a student possibly ask for? Through much fundraising and support from everyone in the school, this past March Break the cast and crew of ‘A Comedy Of Errors’ traveled across the pond to Germany. Twenty of Ridley’s theater students – I included – had the privilege to perform, travel, and form strong bonds!
When finally landing in Berlin after an eight hour flight, everyone was tired and ready to settle in, though the minute out of the airport the mood changed and we were filled with excitement. When looking around at my fellow cast members and friends during the first bus ride to our hotel, we were astonished at how far we had come, literally and with the play itself!
Throughout our time in Germany we performed five different shows, at a school, churches, and theaters. Each show was filled with it’s own unique aspects, ranging from how the audience participated to how the actors started to pick up, and interpret the show. Our magnificent director and drama teacher Mr. Sweeney even said to us before one of our performances, “there is a point during a show where the director can no longer help the actors, he can only be a mentor, and as sad as it is, it also pleases me to be able to pass this show on to all of you, it is your show now, and you may run with it, and make it your own.” At this moment of the journey we all knew that we had the ability to make the show the best it could ever be. I found that as the shows went on, we all relied on one another more and more. There were times when if someone missed a line another would pick it up, and if someone else was to try a new way to move on stage, others would move and act around them; making the whole show completely our own. While the shows that were put on by the cast and crew at Ridley had their own feel to them, the ones in Germany had a much greater feeling of “freedom”.
Now, even though the purpose of our trip to Berlin was to perform what we had worked so hard on, we had a wondrous amount of time to actually see the country we traveled to! Visits to museums, the Charlottenburg Palace and the Sachsenhausen concentration camp gave us a new respect for history. Traveling via train, and foot we all got used to our surroundings, and used to hearing “Ridley this is us!!!!!” by our very own Ms. Fournier each time the trains would arrive. Many of us tried new foods as well, most of us took a liking to “currywurst und pommes” (German sausage and french fries) which is a favoured snack in Germany. As a way to say thanks to everyone we had a last (large!) meal together as a company. All of us enjoyed the true German feel at the Hofbrauhaus restaurant, with much thanks to the Gordon family for the opportunity for such a meal. It was a wonderful way to end the trip, there was great food, laughter and dancing!
Along with great performances, amazing sightseeing, and new food there was more to the trip that wasn’t quite spoken about, but felt. All of the actors on the trip – by the end – had a new understanding and appreciation for teamwork. Many times while touring I would catch a cast or crew member helping out a fellow actor, or teacher. Not necessarily grand gestures though enough to bring us all closer together. We all gained so much from being together on this trip. Many thanks to everyone who was a part of it.
For the past two weekends students entertained audiences with the musical “Blood Brothers”. This dramatic, at times comical show was greatly received. From the costumes and set design to the lighting and sound to the acting, music and choreography; students, faculty and staff worked tirelessly to put on this amazing musical.
Eric and Matt played perfect brothers from different worlds through three stages of their life and were especially humorous through age seven-almost eight! Maia as ‘Linda’ a woman caught in the middle and Iain as troubled brother ‘Sammy’ were acted perfectly.
Kaila and Chloe embedded much emotion into their performance making the audience feel for both of the desperate mothers. The musical was infused with guest appearances by Ms. Lech, Mr. Templeman and Mr. Ash (who stepped in to the play the narrator) added greatly to this fantastic show. Check out some scenes to see for yourself:
Ridley College has a very robust theatre program and puts on two shows per year, a classic comedy or a modern drama in the fall and a musical in the winter. For more information about the drama program at Ridley College, please click here.
Two brothers torn apart: one living a life of luxury, the other in the slums of Liverpool. An unlikely pair to become friends and that’s exactly what their mothers are counting on. Ridley drama presents “Blood Brothers” opening on February 22nd in the Mandeville Theatre. Watch the video below to see the actors talking a bit more about the plot:
Please click here to order tickets for the show that is running February 22nd-23rd and March 1st and 2nd in the Mandeville Theatre. Note: This show may be not be suitable for a younger audience as it contains “mature content”.
A musical, a classic comedy or a modern drama are all possibilities for Ridley College’s two major productions every year. This year in the fall Ridley drama produced “The Comedy of Errors” and in the winter they are producing the British musical “Blood Brothers”. In the months leading up to Opening Night there are endless hours of preparation. Auditions began in November and ever since there have been rehearsals, production meetings, and design sessions. In the two months leading up to the musical I will be posting a series of videos showcasing what goes into creating a production such as “Blood Brothers”. In this video Jackie and Jaime show us the beginning of the design process for costumes and the set:
“Blood Brothers” opens February 22nd and tells the story of the Johnstone twins, Mickey and Eddie, brothers separated at birth who reunite and become friends in their childhood, unaware of their relation to each other or of the consequences their relationship will bring about.
In their first year as members of the International Thespians Society, Ridley Theatre students recently competed at the Michigan State Thespian Festival. The students competed in various categories including solo and group performance, musical theatre, dance, film and design technology. Competitors received either a good, excellent or superior ranking from the judges. Out of our nine students competing, Jacqueline O’Rourke received an excellent ranking and five of our students were ranked superior: Luis Lopez-Guzman, Maia Bidodchka, Jade Biggar and Eric Gordon (Duet Acting) and Matt Cairns for his solo vocal performance from Jesus Christ Superstar (Matt received a standing ovation for his solo from over one thousand American theatre majors). These six students have been invited to compete in the 50th annual National Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska in June. Ridley College was the only Canadian school in attendance and had proportionally the most students to go onto the nationals.
Jade Biggar and Eric Gordon performed Act II Scene II of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew during assembly on Thursday:
Today in chapel we had the pleasure of listening to the musical talents of our students. The Grade Eight string players joined the Upper School students and played two songs, the Ridley singers performed two Christmas songs and the choir gave us a preview of the annual Nine Lessons and Carols Services that will be held on December 15th and 16th at 5pm in the Memorial Chapel. Take a look at the video: