Musical revue uplifting for seniors, community

Stephanie Roth has been putting a troupe of young performers through their paces, creating a musical revue that will take to the stage at the Chemainus Health Care Centre August 23, then at the Waterwheel Park Bandshell August 27.
Conceived as an entertainment that would help cheer people through the social isolation of the COVID pandemic, the show is also a chance for a group of six youths to share in the excitement, fun – and the hard work – of pulling a musical revue together.
All those elements are top of mind for Roth, who has 35 years experience in theatre and is now turning her attention to training young people. The rehearsals, which take place at the Saltair Community Centre, are a blend of coaching and collaborating as the troupe hones its tunes and moves for their opening.
Said Laura of the experience, “Just to see adrenaline, and to see happiness, and work put in, and that devotion, it really inspires people.”
One of the discoveries participants make when they come together to create a theatrical event is ‘their tribe. Said Roth, “That’s what’s great about having classes, is you can go and meet people who have the same passion as you do.” It’s that shared, evolving vision that drives actors, and artists in general, to engage in creative activities.
As for stage fright, all the participants have been involved in theatrical productions before, and the audience is part of the energy they feel on stage. “It’s nice to give people the interaction of performing,” said Sierra. “They get to watch you and see you perform yourself, and that’s just a really nice experience for everyone.”
“I think that performing is a really courageous and vulnerable thing that people do. You give to your audience, and I think that for these students there will be a lot of pride in what they have given,” Roth said.
Especially during a time many are still struggling with the COVID blues. “There was a time when people were shut in,” she said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of pride in what they have given for people at the Health Care Centre.”
The Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society provided funding for the revue production. “Engaging young people in creative activity is one of the things we want to see more of in our communities,” Vice Chair Bev Knight said. “We see this as the kind of investment that brings the arts into people’s lives.”
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