Chris Layton poses with the banner for the school’s next comedy – The Internet is Distract–OH LOOK A KITTEN!

– Stephen Dafoe Photo

by Stephen Dafoe

After two successful comedic productions, Morinville Public School (MPS) will put on their third comedic play June 5 and 6 at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre.

The Internet is Distract–OH LOOK A KITTEN! by Ian McWeth is pretty much what the title implies.

“It’s about a girl in school who has got to get a report on the Great Gatsby done. She’s under a deadline, and the Internet is just pulling her in about 37 different directions,” said MPS teacher Chris Layton. “She wants to get it done, but she also wants to check her Facebook and play this game. It’s a lighthearted commentary on how the Internet has sort of taken over our lives.”

Layton had produced two of McWeth’s plays in the past when at Guthrie School, and said he is looking forward to audiences seeing this particular performance, given it’s relevance to modern life.

This year’s production includes just under 30 Grades 5 to 9 students between the cast and crew.

“[They’re] a very dedicated group. We meet on Tuesdays after school for an hour and a bit, and we’ll, of course, ramp that up as we get closer to the performance,” Layton said. “They’ve learned their lines. They’re quite good at hamming it up, and we’re turning out some great actors here.”

Layton said although serious theatre is something the actors are capable of handling, all involved, including the students enjoy producing comedies.

“I really enjoy the opportunity for kids to have fun with a piece,” he said. “I find if the piece is too serious, then they’re not enjoying themselves. The number one thing I want them to take out of the experience is that drama is fun and is something to look forward to. If you give them a serious piece, they could do it, but they don’t laugh and smile nearly as much. If they’re having a good time, then hopefully they’ll take it again in high school and keep it going.”

Layton is hoping to see not only family but the general community out to see the comedy and to see what his students can do on the stage.

“Here are some kids who have gone out on their own time, and they just want to show off what they do,” Layton said. “We’re at a bit of a disadvantage because I keep picking shows that are not well known. We’d probably get a lot more people show up if we did a famous show. But at the same time, there are other stories out there that the public has not had the chance to be exposed to. It’s fun to show there is more out there than what’s already been established.

The Internet is Distract–OH LOOK A KITTEN! runs approximately 45 minutes. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. June 5 and 6 with the show starting at 7 p.m. each night. Tickets are $5 per person and children 2 and under are free. Tickets are available at the school or the door the night of the show.

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