Students at Royal Bay Secondary School are set to bring audiences back to the 1950s with their upcoming musical production of The Pajama Game – with shows starting March 8.
Set in an Iowa pajama factory, the show follows a group of union workers petitioning the company for a raise while a new manager takes over, quickly becoming a love interest for lead character and one of the main union members Babe Williams.
This sets up a conflict between love and work.
“It’s all about love and unions,” said Grade 11 student Sara Edmundson, who plays Williams. “There are lots of fabulous vocals from lots of different people, there are big group numbers, there is dancing, lots of moving around, comedy, it’s a mixed bag.”
The cast features a mix of students from different grades, some who have performed before in the school’s productions, and others who are performing for the first time.
Edmundson said this has created a special dynamic on the stage, with each actor bringing their own energy to their characters.
And compared to the school’s production of Pippin last year – set in the 700s in the time of Charlemagne and centred around a mysterious performance troupe featuring plenty of fourth wall breaks – this year’s production features very different characters for the actors to transform into, defined by realistic nuance rather than the last production’s more fantastical characters.
“It’s cool getting to perform in such different shows considering the amount of experience we get from playing such wildly different characters,” said Grade 12 student Dominic McClure, who plays the new factory manager Sid Sorokin in The Pajama Game. “It’s great having that kind of experience as we look to move on beyond school theatre in the future.”
Even first-time performers like Grade 11 student Haris Umair are enjoying the show’s very grounded characters.
“Being set in the 1950s, the characters all have such a great range – vocally, emotionally, physically,” said Umair. “I play Vernon Hines, the comedic relief in the play … but originally I didn’t really think he was the comedic relief in the play. Over time, I kind of built on him and connected him to my own personality.”
The Pajama Game performances are set for March 8, 9, and 10 at 7 p.m. and March 11 at 2 p.m. at the school’s Teechamitsa Theatre. Tickets are available online through sd62.schoolcashonline.com and cost $15 for adults, $13 for students and seniors, and $6 for students in SD62.
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