By: Renessa Visser, junior reporter
Last week, Redeemer’s theatre department performed The Drowsy Chaperone, a musical and comedy that left the audience amused and entertained.
Fourth-year student, Hannah Sloots, said her favourite part of the process was “singing my character’s song each night. I’m not typically an alto (lower singer), so I feel very accomplished after I belt out the tune since it was out of my comfort zone to begin with. I also loved hearing the audience clap and cheer loudly for the actors, stage managers and tech crew every night.”
Hannah played the role of the Drowsy Chaperone, a character who “is confident in who she is and what she’s capable of and doesn’t seem to care if others disagree”: attributes that made her an enjoyable role to both perform and watch.
“Since a lot of my character’s personality traits are similar to my own, I had to work hard to be my character on stage,” said Isaac Schuster, first-year student who played the role of The Man in the Chair. “Even though we are similar in some ways, we are still two very different people.”
“I’ve learned how important commitment is,” Sloots said, referring to the past five months of rehearsal. “I’ve learned that in theatre, commitment is not just about having your lines memorized on time, but about showing up on time to rehearsal, taking the time to know the other cast members, practicing certain scenes every evening before the show starts, and taking the time to communicate effectively with cast and crew.”
Second-year student, Tim Bruer, explained how certain aspects of his character were difficult to perform. “Halfway through the semester, I could have given you the whole backstory of my character—I kept trying to find deeper meaning in his actions,” he said. “The problem is, this made my movements very stiff.” In order to make his motions more fluid, he had to take his character at face value.
“I learned a lot about comedic timing,” Tim said. “We had to leave pauses in between our lines to allow the audience to laugh. Throughout the rehearsal process, I forgot how funny the puns were, and didn’t expect the audience to appreciate them as much as they did.”
“It is the most wonderful thing to see a group of emerging artists overcome frustrations and exhaustion to find that place of joy in performing,” said the director of The Drowsy Chaperone, Dr. Gwendolyn Starks. “It has been a joy to learn from them, be challenged by them and get to know them. I am very excited to see what they will bring into the world and where their futures will take them.”