Keeping it all in the family

Theatre builds community on and off stage

Tiny Tim (Willem Rabourn) and Ebenezer Scrooge

An iconic classic is coming to the Isabelle Reader Theatre.

For the first time, Four Seasons Musical Theatre welcomes the sights and sounds of A Christmas Carol to their family-oriented program. Director Terry Rowsell says the seasonal play may feature their biggest cast and crew ever as the company celebrates four decades of musical theatre.

“It takes my breath away to think of the thousands of volunteers and tens of thousands of volunteer hours witnessed by our society in 40 years.  Imagine for a moment the good this has done for the community,” he said. “My hope for the future is continued growth in the musical arts and greater camaraderie between all arts groups in our communities.”

Volunteers on the production look forward to welcoming the public, who Rowsell said will experience an audience-fuelled, symbiotic relationship with those on the stage. He challenged the public to connect with performers and enjoy the immediacy of the story in a way that only happens with a live stage performance.

“Once (performers) have 300 people in front of them, they feed off the energy of the audience. This is why when you see the audience, they clap or applaud after every number.”

Langford resident Douglas Crockett is one such performer. And unlike the crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge the long-time actor embodies for the play, he’s excited to see the crowds filter in to enjoy a theatre company he said is built on the backs of families, both on and off the stage.

“There are two producers and both have kids in the show and there are at least four or five parent-and-children (combinations working) together. This gives a good opportunity for parents to do something with their kids,” Crockett said. “I think it’s great for young people to be involved with community theatre.”

Eight-year-old Willem Rabourn agrees. The young Four Seasons newcomer said he would have happily accepted any role to be a part of the production, but he’ll make his debut in a starring role as Tiny Tim.

“I really enjoy it. I really like meeting new friends and the director is really nice and his little baby is really adorable,” Willem said. “I really, really enjoy hanging out with people there … being Tiny Tim, I feel like I’m really lucky.”

The show opens this Friday (Nov. 13) and runs through Nov. 21 at the Isabelle Reader Theatre,  750 Goldstream Ave. For info, visit fsmtheatre.ca.

alim@goldstream

gazette.com

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