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Blyth Theatre

BOOK CONCERT … WHAT?

Recipe for teacher derangement or at least early retirement:

  1. Put kids on buses with their teachers for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Take 300 + kids, aged 6 – 11 years of age.
  3. Add the fact that the kids are of the “i” generation: iPads, iPhones, iPods.
  4. Fold in one warm, spring day with sunny skies.
  5. Stir all into a dark, elderly, smallish theatre in rural Ontario.
  6. Focus on books. Remember those old, hard-copy remnants of a bygone age?
  7. Put kids on buses with their teachers for at least 30 minutes.

Outcome: MAYHEM! EARLY TEACHER RETIREMENT, right?

Well, not exactly. . .in fact, just the OPPOSITE! You see, the books are by rock star kids’ writer, Robert Munsch, the whole production was adapted and directed by Duncan McGregor who has run theatre companies and worked locally with actors for years, the texts were brilliantly stitched together with the lyrics, voice, and music of Irene Darnbrough and Suzanne McVicar, and because, given the great busyness of the play, the stage manager was VHS’s head of English, ESL and French, the incomparable, Caitlin Carr!

Caitlin oversaw everything from Mortimer’s goalie pads and golf clubs to stuffed toys and steering wheels. The set, which inventively used a series of blocks and trees painted mainly in primary colours, was always in motion as was the cast which changed from one vignette in the stories to another, making for a complex, varied and always joyous voyage through Munsch’s easily identifiable works.

This BOOK CONCERT—a mix of rock concert and book romp—could have sent kids flying for the exits to text friends, but it captivated them, thanks to the efforts of their teachers, the superbly chosen cast,  the dedication of Duncan McGregor and, of course, the diligence of our own Caitlin Carr.

Caitlin has been involved in community theatre for the last three years since starting her job at Virtual High School. How do you give back to the community?  Let us know in the comment section below.

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