|Back to Home||Feature Article - May 3, 2012|
NFLT stages Annieby Pat Fisher
Over 33 years ago, in 1979, the first ever show of The North Frontenac Little Theatre (NFLT) was the musical “Alice in Wonderland”. This commitment to wonderful entertainment for our community continues with this spring’s production of “Annie”. It is a fabulous musical, definitely something to look forward to and to enjoy.
If you could peek into the auditorium at Sharbot Lake High School on a rehearsal night, you would see people of all ages milling about, resting, whispering, waiting, watching. Others would be on the stage acting, singing, and dancing. The pianist, music director, and choreographer are there, working with the cast, scene by scene. Tables are set up where the director and stage manager can record notes, make lists, keep things “on track”, scene by scene. In the lighting booth, out of sight, up high sits Derek Redmond. He is designing lighting magic for the show, scene by scene. Many of the people who create this musical are not present. They design and paint sets, design and make costumes, gather and logically arrange props.
More than 50 people are spending hours each week, getting ready to entertain us. In terms of numbers, 28 people are in the cast: 11 are children and young people. Bill Bowick is the oldest member of the cast. He is 71 years old and proud of it. It is his first appearance on stage since he was in school. He saw the announcement for auditions in the Frontenac News and immediately telephoned his daughter, Rhonda Gauthier. She loves the score of Annie and knows all the songs so Bill encouraged her to try out despite not being in a play since her school days. Rhonda now stars as Daddy Warbucks’ secretary.
There are many reasons why people sign up for the show. Pauline Muth wanted to reconnect with friends after being away from this community for several years. Husbands and wives, sisters, brothers, mothers and daughters have joined the cast or the crew. All of them work to bring magic to the stage. The school-aged actresses say that they could handle the extra work involved in being in the musical. They have no problem keeping up with homework and confided that there were side benefits such as getting out of household chores. The actress who has been with the North Frontenac Little Theatre the longest is Pam Giroux, who starred as Alice in the first ever production by the NFLT in 1979.
There are 15 people working behind the curtains and many crew members. That does not count seven or so artists who, under the direction of Geoffrey Murray, painted 480 square feet of flats designed and built by Paddy O’Connor. Geoffrey Murray designed and made the costumes. Mary Lou Quennville is invisible to the audience but behind the scenes she coordinates the actors, sets and props that create the magic that ends up on the stage. She also communicates with Derek up in the lighting booth, the musicians, the stage crew and keeps everyone ready for their parts in the entertainment.
Each person does his or her bit to create a special time of enjoyment for the audiences.
The show opens Friday, May 11 at 7 p.m. with performances on May 12, 18, and 19 at 7 p.m. There is one Sunday matinee, May 13 at 2 p.m. For ticket information please consult the website: www.nflt.ca or contact Barb Rodgers at 613-374-3521. This is a show that the whole family will enjoy.