CCHS drama students invoke caped crusader
Thursday, May 23, 2013 06:00 am
When drama students at Canmore Collegiate High School were given free rein to create their own play this semester, they went with a pop culture theme.
The class of nine students, ranging from Grades 10 to 12, is taught by Jodi Anderson.
“They wrote the script and created this from the beginning and it’s a Batman parody,” she said at a rehearsal, Friday (May 17). “This group wanted to write their own play and I gave them free rein – they went with it, and came up with this completely on their own – it’s completely student written, directed and choreographed.”
The student production takes to the stage in the CCHS theatre May 29 and 30, at 7 p.m., and is free and open to everyone.
Students Alysse Ernewein and Christophe Vaugeois spoke about the production.
“We liked the idea of Batman, and thinking of a spoof would make it entertaining for our target audience, our peers and family,” said Ernewein. “We had all kinds of choices, but the fact that it’s a comedy, is that we really wanted to look into making people laugh.”
Vaugeois echoed these sentiments.
“There was a period of brainstorming, and the Batman idea came out of nowhere,” he said. “There are ridiculous jokes, and silly voices as well, to make it into a comedy. A lot of the situations the characters get themselves into hopefully make people laugh.”
Of the nine students, eight are on stage acting, with one being the light and sound technician. Each actor has a main character they play, and some have additional smaller roles.
“My main character is Batman,” said Vaugeois. “I think his personality is really peculiar, with how isolated he keeps himself. We made him almost dumb in the play, and I thought that’d be really hilarious to do, and I gave it a shot.”
Vaugeois was one of four students primarily tasked with the scriptwriting, he said.
“There were a few of us doing the actual script writing, and I was one of them,” he explained. “We developed a plot, step by step, and then figured out the ultimate message. And we’re still tweaking it, even as we rehearse it.”
A Grade 12 student graduating at the end of this year, he’s not entirely sure where theatre will take him.
“I started drama in Grade 9, and I was initially attracted because I wanted to do all the lights and the technical background, and then I started acting and fell in love with it, and now I’ve been continuing with that,” he said. “I’d like to continue it – as a career or a hobby I’m not sure – but it’d still be nice to do acting.
“We’ve had really good progress so far, and now comes the crunch work of perfecting it.
Ernewein had similar thoughts.
“As far as everyone’s teamwork goes, I’m really impressed with how much the group is trying and how we’re all dedicated to memorizing our lines, and as we continue on this trail, it should be good,” she said.
Her main character is the Music Meister, from the comic books.
“At first it was made up as a joke in the comics, but then we kept with that idea, and made her more about conquering Batman by using different genres and styles and defeating him by tone and vocal progressions,” she said.
She also worked on the productions music.
“We took the soundtrack from the Dark Knight Rises and added our own lyrics,” said Ernewein. “There wasn’t anyone who could compose original music in our group, so we worked with the soundtrack.”
Acting since the age of eight, the 17-year-old Grade 11 student hopes to make a career out of drama.
“I originally started out singing and dancing when I was little, and as I evolved I found my love for the stage and happened to come to acting,” she said. “Going on with it, that’s my goal, to be on the stage, and potentially music theatre.”
The show is open to everyone, with a catch, she said.
“It’s targeted more towards mature audiences, because there are some jokes, but it’ll appeal to a younger audience as well,” said Ernewein. “High school peers, adults and friends – it’s open doors and welcome to anyone.”
While Anderson did allow the students free rein in most regards, she was there for guidance.
“If I do see them floundering, or going in a direction they shouldn’t be going, that’s where I’d step in,” she explained. “And we went over specific drama disciplines and skills, but really when it came to the script, it was up to them.
“I talked about how drama is more than just entertaining, I gave them a quote by George Bernard Shaw about how it should change your environment and society and give people a message, so that’s where I went with it.”