Lord Beaverbrook High School drama reaches out to the community

Published on Friday, 18 November 2011 in The Calgary Journal

Students put on two plays aimed at families and children

lordbeaverbrookthumbAt Lord Beaverbrook High School the drama teachers and a group of students are hard at work rehearsing for two upcoming plays set to go up in the first week of December.

The two plays, “How to Eat Like a Child,” a play about a group of kids teaching the audience how to act like children, and “A Promise is a Promise,” a play based off the children’s story by Robert Munsch and Michael Kusugak, are aiming to bring in a large draw for the community with a focus on families.

“It’s two shows designed for families and children,” said Owen Chan, the director of “A Promise is a Promise.”

This year Lord Beaverbrook High School’s fine arts department is working hard to try to get the community aware of its program.

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We have a department goal, not just drama but all the performing arts, of bringing the community into Lord Beaverbrook more. So it’s more of a community school, and not just the place where ‘those teenagers’ go to school,” said Karen Towsley, ,the director of “How to Eat Like a Child.”

“There are amazing things going on this school, and you never hear about them.”

Community Awareness

Last year, after having built up their program, the fine arts department realized that they weren’t getting as much of a draw from the community as they wanted, or as they were used to when they were teenagers.

“When I went to school, the community was in the school. Everyone went to the football games, everyone went to the plays whether your kid was in the school or not,” said Towsley.

The challenge that the drama teachers have faced however, is how to get the word out there to the community. Aside from putting up posters and getting their students to take brochures door to door, the drama teachers haven’t been able to do much more to advertise their plays. It has been recommended to the teachers that they hold a fundraiser, but when they get home at 8:30 every night it’s hard to find the time.

“We do everything for the show, so to do marketing when it’s not our area of focus is quite difficult,” said Chan.

Working Hard to Impress

Despite this, the excitement for the upcoming shows hasn’t been quelled and the teachers and students remain positive and hopeful for a strong community turn out.

“I think that we do put out really good work and it’s something that I’m proud,” said Emma Patterson, a student in Grade 11 acting in “A Promise is a Promise,” a story about an old Inuit legend.

“People really enjoy our shows so I think that if we get more people in, more people will be more aware of our program and more people will enjoy theatre the way we do,” said Patterson.

Every day after school the students go back and work hard to make the plays the best they can, with the hope that their efforts will pay off with a big audience full of kids and families on opening night.

“I’m looking forward to 400 people, excited to see the work and very satisfied at the end,” said Towsley.

The plays go up Thursday Dec. 1, and go until Friday Dec. 9. Tickets cost $5 for anyone under the age of 12, and general admission tickets are $10 and can be bought in the office at Lord Beaverbrook during school hours, or at the door before the show. Both shows play on a single night, with a twenty minute intermission between them.

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