Volunteers, under the tutelage of set designer and artist, Jay Crowder, are constructing a massive PEI-themed quilt to be used as one of the curtains at the Sid Williams Theatre during the Christmas production Dec. 23 to 31.

A theatre production for, about and by community

Catherine Hannon

Special to the Record

It is early on a Tuesday morning and the stage floor of Courtenay Little Theatre’s warehouse rehearsal space is completely covered with a massive, colourful quilt in progress.

It will become a backdrop for Anne of Green Gables – The Musical, depicting the fictional rural P.E.I community of Avonlea. Standing amongst the many scraps of material laid out in intricate patterns, set designer Jay Crowder consults with one of the volunteer quilters creating the fabric landscape of farms, ocean, town and country.

Surrounding this busy quilting bee are stacks of multi-purpose set pieces and tables piled high with props. Some of the set carpentry has been done by Vanier high school’s senior construction class, who worked for three weeks under the friendly eyes of CLT set construction head Bruce Taylor and their teacher, Troy Dakiniewich.

Apart from learning about residential construction on a small scale, Dakiniewich feels his class benefited from participating in the community in a unique way that allowed students who wouldn’t normally be interested in the theatre to get involved.

In the back of the warehouse space, Gail Limber and her energetic 10 woman costume team drink tea in their cozy wardrobe corner as they stitch beautiful 19th century costumes by hand, and assemble hats from the extensive CLT collection for the dozens of characters who will be brought to life by the thirty-eight actors in the show.

Working in and around this creative and organized chaos, director Brian Mather has been rehearsing Anne of Green Gables – The Musical since early October in order to prepare for the December performances at the Sid Williams Theatre.

His actors, ranging in age from six to 76 years old, have been working hard every weekend and three weekday evenings on the 23 scenes under his direction, and that of choreographer, Natasha Kozak, and musical director, Denise Marquette. On Sunday nights after acting rehearsals finish, the pit orchestra meets for several hours to learn and play the musical score.

Mather describes the story of Anne of Green Gables as being about belonging, finding your relationship to your community and where and how you fit in.

The young heroine, Anne Shirley, learns that she can provide love and leadership to others, and her quest changes the lives of those in her village. It seems fitting that a play with these themes is being created through the volunteered time and talents of the members of the Courtenay Little Theatre.

Midway through the rehearsal period, the directors, actors and production teams have begun to see the fruits of their labours as they prepare for their creation’s is unveiling over the Christmas holidays. At that point, the final essential members of the community, the audience, will join in and complete the picture.

Anne of Green Gables – The Musical, by Don Harron, the third of three Canadian plays put on in 2017 by Courtenay Little Theatre in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, will be performed Dec. 23 and 27 to 31 at the Sid Williams Theatre.

Ticket information is available at sidwilliamstheatre.com (250) 338-2430 ext. 1 or in person at the ticket office 442 Cliffe Ave. Tickets are $25 individual for evening shows, $23 for 2 p.m. matinées on Dec. 23, 26, and 30. Discounted FlexPass tickets are also available.

Just Posted

Regional district changes decision on vote results of 3L amendment request

Amendment request was defeated by board Tuesday; ruling overturned by staff Wednesday

Riverfront proposal in Comox Valley remains on hold

Directors consider application a standard amendment

MusicFest weekend in the Comox Valley ‘fantastic’

With clear skies and warm temperatures bathing the crowd at the Comox… Continue reading

Island Health announces addition of 38 beds for seniors care in the Comox Valley

17 beds at Comox Valley hospital; 21 beds at St. Joe’s

VIDEO: North Island Hospital heliport flight testing

Island Health, in conjunction with Helijet, tested the heliports Tuesday as part… Continue reading

Comox Valley soccer camp growing

Annual camp includes younger kids

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018… Continue reading

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Cumberland businesses on board with potential single-use plastic ban

Mayor Leslie Baird heartened by support for the initiative

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Most Read