Even fairy tale characters shall be equal before the courts again this season in Vanderhoof.
Kicked off with an evening session on May 4 and a matinee on May 10, comedy play Disorder in the Court – the Sequel presented by Mapes Elementary will reprise on May 12.
The dinner theatre production is building on last year’s success, when two sold-out evening shows featuring Goldilocks and Big Bad Wolf on trial welcomed 100 attendees each night, said teacher Jim Holtz.
Twenty-three students from grades 4 to 6 made up the cast and crew, who also served — while in costume — dinner and drinks to the audience between acting out scenes on stage.
With each student contributing to the play in various roles, whether it is staging, prompting, assisting with directing, or preparing props, the play provides a range of learning opportunities that cover different parts of the curriculum, Holtz explained.
“For language arts, there are lots of higher level vocabulary, and we discuss why we use certain lines,” he said. “There’s a line that mentioned red being associated with communism, and we have a huge discussion about that.”
On stage, the students practised public speaking and voice projection.
“They work on getting used to speaking in front of people, and we play drama games,” Holtz said. “Some are exceptional…they feel very much at home on stage.”
For Grade 6 student Mara Walther, who plays Gretal — with a brother named Hansel — it’s her first time performing a play on stage, as she recently moved from Switzerland.
Students were given the opportunity to audition and choose their roles this year. “It was hard choosing what I wanted…I don’t want too big or too small,” Walther said. “I like the story because everyone likes their parts.”
Grade 5 students Evan Warkentin and Ayva Lewis participated in the play last year and found the production a little easier this time, with their experience.
Warkentin played the Big Bad Wolf last year, and will be the judge this year.
“[The challenge is] how to emphasize the right words,” he said. “It’s cool that [the story is] set in Germany and Mara has a little bit of a German accent.”
Lewis was Goldilocks in last year’s production, and will play Rosine Leckermaul this year. “I’m the little lady who lives in the middle of the woods,” Lewis said. “[We learned] how to not laugh in front of one hundred people.”
Their favourite part is when Lewis gets captured and is taken into jail. “We have a little fight,” she said. “It’s weird when I’m in a dress.”
Proceeds of the dinner theatre go towards Mapes’ student leadership team and their year-end field trip.