By Lucie Roy
Morinville – Christmas Concert Committee members at Ecole George P. Vanier Elementary School were busy Tuesday afternoon with a dress rehearsal for their upcoming Christmas concert. With approximately 27 actors, the fitting room was a buzz of activity as costumes were adjusted for the proper fit for the students performing in the Christmas musical play Once Upon a Starry Night.
The Grade 5 actors really look forward to this time of the year as it is a school tradition that they act in the play. Grades 1-4 and Grade 5 students not acting in the production get to perform a few song numbers. For this play, they will sing the songs One Sheep Short and One Star in French. Other songs include I’m Not Getting on That Camel and Over the Hump. Teacher Dolores Ricard, who is organizing the songs, said they tweaked the program to include the French version of some songs for the French program students. Also students of the Grades 4 and 5 French classes will perform the song Once Upon a Starry Night, half in French and half in English for the Christmas Festival Dec. 14.
Ricard said they started getting the play in place right after Halloween and Tuesday’s rehearsal helped get their items together for the costume fitting. The list on the board in the fitting room included bobby pins, coffee cups, safety pins, balloons for the camels hump maybe, nylons, zip lock bags and other items to make it all go together.
The fitting room walk through was preceded by a performance in the music room by the actors present. As they spoke their lines the directions could be heard from the back of the room; speak clearly, be loud, do not speak too fast, be expressive, no gum, think about what your character would be doing, remember to face the audience and no dead air on the stage. The actors brushed upon certain parts of the play, how and where to stand and to be mindful of where the microphones would be located.
Ricard said the play consists of a heavenly host of stars who bring Once upon a Starry Night to life. They are joined by characters General Comet Powell, Big Glow, Little Glow and Shooting Star along with shepherds, angels, and wise men as they tell the greatest story. The viewpoint of this musical is from the stars in the heavens and they tell the story of what they saw that magical night.
Principal Marlene Pelletier said Tuesday there would only be one evening performance this year due to the new location. The play takes places at the Community Cultural Centre Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. Admittance at the Christmas Concert is restricted to those ticket holders who received tickets distributed through the school office.