BY KALISHA MENDONSA
Lacombe Composite High School (LCHS) students are getting excited to present their hard work and dedication through the upcoming performances of Village of Idiots, a classic Canadian play written by John Lazarus.
According to the synopsis, Village of Idiots tells the tale of Yosef, a young soldier on the run who has deserted the Cossack army. He finds himself in Chelm – the legendary ‘village of idiots’.
The students have been working to produce the piece, along with LCHS drama instructor Mme. Guylaine Girard, as well as local theatre guru AnnaMarie Lea of the Cow Patti Theatre Company. The production opens this Friday, Mar. 10th at 7 p.m.
An additional evening show will run Mar. 17th at 7 p.m., with two matinee performances on Mar. 18th and 19th at 1 p.m. All performances at the school.
“This is a learning environment. These kids, that have committed to this project, are learning a lot. We have been restricted on the space and the time we can be together, and there hasn’t been a lot of conditioning for them in terms of how to build a performance before this,” Lea said.
“We don’t have an elaborate set, but that’s okay, we’re creating what we can. What we’re focusing on as actors in putting on this show is simply telling a story.
“There are moments during the rehearsal where I see these young people who genuinely understand the story. They understand the humour, the kindness, the humanity and the diversity and acceptance of this story – all the things I believe John Lazarus was writing about when he put this story together.”
Lea said there have been large amounts of effort put forth by these students in order to bring the play to life, and she hopes the guests of the performances will take in the story itself and allow the students to present their hard work with pride.
One of the students who is eager to show off his hard work is Landon Gould, a Gr. 12 student at LCHS.
Gould is playing the lead role of Yosef, the ‘outsider’ in Chelm, who comes to terms with the consequences of his former life as he takes part in daily living in the village.
“It’s pretty exciting to work on this. We started last quarter for the drama class, but we were committed to extending the play,” Gould said, adding with a laugh that the few extra performance credits didn’t hurt, either.
“It’s been really exciting to see everyone’s talents and acting ability through this. There are some nerves, because it can be tough to memorize lines and things, but it is really fun.”
He said he is looking forward to showcasing Village of Idiots to friends and family.
“It will be fun to show our friends and family, and teach them a little bit of a lesson.”
He explained that Yosef has been running from his problems his whole life, and is granted the opportunity to find himself as he lives and deals with life in this village.
He said it’s been a fun way to explore themes of responsibility and facing consequences while having fun with his school mates.
Lea said it’s been an interesting process of development, and she is excited to tell a, “Beautiful story about these very simple people,” who she wishes our world could resemble more closely.
“Maybe by having these 20-odd kids telling this story, we will be able to send a message out to our community.”