WL McLeod Elementary School is presenting Dear Edwina Jr. as it’s 11th production this year.
Libby Hart, principal of the elementary school said, “This is a show we did about 8 years ago and the reason I picked it this year is because I have a group of kids who are very talented and the nice thing about this show is that there is a lot of opportunity. So instead of just a couple of main parts, there are a lot of solo parts. I picked this for the group of kids as I wanted to give lots of them a chance to shine.”
Dear Edwina Jr. will be running from March 14 to March 16.
There are 80 kids performing from grade 1 to 6, Hart said, noting that 8 kids are working as the crew to help with lighting and sound. And an additional 10 students from Nechako Valley Secondary School are helping out by assisting kids in learning their parts and more.
“Edwina is this girl who puts on a show in her garage in the summer. She makes all her neighbourhood kids be a part of it whether they want to or not. And her specialty, her talent is giving advice,” she said.
The character Edwina in the play is very hard on herself because she doesn’t think she is good at anything else, except giving advice, Hart said, adding “so it’s a really good message for kids because in the end she realizes that [giving advice] is really important and we all have something special we can bring to this world.”
The play has numerous songs — a 50’s song, a Hawaiian song, a Jamaican song and an opera, Hart said.
Without community support the elementary school would not have been able to put out the show for the past 11 years, she said, noting there is a dedicated set of volunteers who help with props and costumes as well.
The junior actors and actresses have been practicing since the end of September and Hart said she is positive that everybody who comes to watch the show will love it.
Meanwhile, theatre has a positive impact on kids, she said.
“The oldest child performing is 12-years old. So I think we do really well but I always tell the kids that it is all about what you learn. It is about responsibility and team work and sticking with something even when it is hard. So all these skills I feel are very important and it also boosts confidence in children,” Hart added.
In terms of funding, the show has managed to be self-sustainable from one year to another, so there has been no need for additional fundraising, she said. They are not looking to make any profit from the show, so all the money collected from tickets goes into next year’s preparation, Hart noted.
“I know you have never heard of Dear Edwina before, but I know you will really really enjoy it and go like ‘this is a great show and more people should know of Dear Edwina’.”