Earl Marriott Secondary students Pyper De Marsh and Siavra Valderson appear in Split

Varying genres tackled by student actors, directors

Earl Marriott Secondary presents series of one-act plays.

Those who think it’s still too early for Christmas should be heartened by Earl Marriott Secondary’s latest evening of one-act plays – not one of which seems to come with a single sprig of holly attached.

As usual, the presentation (Dec. 4-5, 7:30 p.m., at the school’s Wheelhouse Theatre) promises to be an entertaining and rewarding showcase for actors ranging from Grades 9-12, and the vision of student directors (and in some cases, playwrights) currently in their senior year.

This season’s offerings include Showtime, directed by Haley Pattenden and co-directed by Cassidy Johnson; The Game, directed by Rory Falls with the assistance of Zack Souvryn; Split, written and directed by Mikayla Poustie; and Lessons in Fear, directed by Madison McCallum.

Pattenden and Johnson explain that Showtime chronicles the comic attempts of a director to stage Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at an elementary school, in a production doomed by mischance such as a broken ankle and students suffering from heatstroke.

Does the show go on?

“It starts…” Pattenden said, “but it ends pretty quickly.”

The Game, Falls said, is a struggle of the personified Life and Death over a young couple who have formed suicide pact (Emily Fenton and Harrison Francis-Lyster).

“I really like the concept and how abstract it was – theatre can really do this,” he said.

Poustie wrote Split for a directing class last year and was encouraged to present as part of the one-act festival by drama instructor Candace Radcliffe.

“It’s about two very different girls who are constantly fighting (Pyper De Marsh and Siavra Valderson),” Poustie said, noting the play challenges the expectations of the audience with a dramatic twist.

McCallum said Lessons In Fear (featuring Souvryn, Carl Xie and Katie Wylpuski) is a comedic piece about The Boogie Man and an inept apprentice unable to scare little children and already performed successfully in a scene class by Souvryn and Xie.

“I think my biggest challenge in directing was keeping the lines fresh and new rather than it seeming like a familiar piece of material,” she said.

Tickets ($6) are available at the door or through the box office at 604-531-8354, ext. 171.

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