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

Canadian mini-series set to shoot in the Comox Valley

St. Joseph’s General Hospital will soon be shining brightly on the small… Continue reading

RCMP investigate sexual assault in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating a reported sexual assault at Sandwick… Continue reading

Comox Strathcona Waste Management board approves tour of Nova Scotia advanced recycling plant

Three CVRD representatives will tour Sustane Tech. plant while in Halifax for FCM conference

Comox opts for ‘blank sheet’ when it comes to cannabis bylaw

Comox council unanimously approved a bylaw to prohibit the sale of cannabis within the town.

Lack of security: why Vancouver Island food production is on the decline

Big Read: agriculture a big, expensive commitment as advocates push to make us more food secure

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

CONTEST: Win a whale-watching tour for four

Where in the world are the Snowbirds?

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

Most Read