Stage Door News
Sarnia: Lambton Young Theatre Players production planned for spring
Sunday, January 23, 2022
The Lambton Young Theatre Players are set to create a show and take it on the road this spring.
Known as the Collective Creation Project, a group of 15 to 20 young people between the ages of 12 and 18 are expected to write and create two new plays based on fairy tale characters and then perform them in May at community halls in three or more locations in and around Lambton County.
The youth theatre group reached its 10th anniversary in 2021 but hasn’t staged a show for two years because of the pandemic, said founder Nancy Keys, a playwright, director and actor with three decades experience in theatre.
“We started back doing some teaching in the fall and it was great to see the kids,” she said.
“We thought, ‘What can we do to put on a play?’”
Typically, the group stages shows at the library theatre in Sarnia and relies on attracting matinees of audiences from local schools to fund much of the production.
“I don’t even know if schools would allow day trips,” Keys said.
So they took another approach.
Participants in the programs will write two 30-minute plays based on fairy tale characters and Keys will edit and direct the shows.
They will be staged in-the-round in community halls with seating spaced to follow pandemic rules.
“We’re looking at Petrolia, Corunna and Wyoming, and actually possibly Dresden,” Keys said.
Not having to rent a theatre for a week means “it won’t kill us” if the shows don’t have school matinee audiences attending to help finance the show, she said.
“If we can only bring 40 people in, that’s fine. We can arrange the seats in a circle and we have lights and sound systems to support both of the plays.”
The plan currently is to stage four performances in Petrolia and two each in the other communities, Keys said.
The theatre was in mid-rehearsal for a production of Robin Hood when “the brakes came on” at the start of the pandemic, she said.
Not being able to stage shows has had an impact on the young people involved in the theatre.
“The kids I talk to, they’ve been miserable,” Keys said. “They’ve been really unhappy and they were so delighted to get back together when I was doing the acting classes.”
Audition interviews were set for Monday and Tuesday in Petrolia and the program planned to be flexible to be able to react to changes in public health rules. Participants must be fully vaccinated.
“If we have to put the brakes on for a couple of weeks, we’ll go to Zoom,” Keys said.
“We can produce this in June, if need be, because we’re not relying on the matinees from the students,” she added.
The program has received funding from Lambton County Creative County Fund, NOVA Chemicals, Bluewater Power and the Petrolia Community Fund.
Information about the theatre can be found online at www.lambtonyoungplayers.com.
By Paul Morden for www.theobserver.ca.
Photo: Cast from a past production by the LYTP.