Things are moving right along for a brand new local theatre group geared to the younger set.
The Forbeez Theatre Group was launched last month, and to date, 20 youths from Grades 4 to 7 have signed on, explained Alison Forbes, who created the group along with her husband Ross.
An information night was held on Sept. 20 at the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre and so far, it’s already been a fun and informative time of introducing these local young people to the magic of theatre.
Weekly rehearsals – also held at the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre – will culminate in a major performance of the musical Cinderella Rockerfella in April.
The play is described as a ‘modern, panto-style re-working of a classic tale’.
“It’s a traditional pantomime, with the good fairy godmother and the baddy fairy Nastyboots,” explained Alison. “Cinderella is her good and honest self, with her horrid step sisters Augustina and Anastacia.
“And then there is Rockerfella, or Rocky, who is a rock star who decides he’s had enough of the rock star life and wants to give it all up,” she said.
Ultimately, it promises to be an engaging and uplifting show.
“I hope audiences take away that kindness usually wins the day, and that fame and fortune are not always what they are cracked up to be!”
Alison said the production features nine songs and fun, comical dialogue.
“I also give the kids fancy, silly and sparkly costumes so hopefully it all adds up to fun and entertaining performances with a ‘feel good’ factor.”
In the meantime, it’s not just about rehearsing for the actual show but also very much about learning the ins and outs of the theatrical world, said Alison, who has been involved with theatre for more than 30 years.
She is also a teacher by trade, so the opportunity to mentor and guide youth in this way is really a dream come true, she said, adding that she would run after-school clubs in Scotland prior to her family’s move to Canada seven years ago.
“We have a lot of time to work on it, but I am teaching them an awful lot along the way, too. I really want to teach them the rudiments of (theatre).”
That runs the gamut from specific acting and theatrical skills and terms to the intricacies of voice projection.
“I want them to receive a good foundation in the theatre and the art of performance,” she explained. “The kids are so keen.”
In the meantime, it’s been fantastic to see the level of engagement continue to build, along with the confidence levels, she said.
And even with her wealth of experience, Alison said she’s always learning along the way, too. “I learn so much from them! It’s just a fabulous experience. It’s magical. There can be these shy and timid youth and in the end, they are on that stage giving it their all. I love it.
“We have lots of games and songs that we do as well. We have a song that I use as an anthem – it’s called You are a Star. It’s from a Scottish composer, and it’s about how we are all different, but we are all stars.”
Alison has seen past students achieve remarkable levels of success, from stints on London’s famed West End to production work on cruise ships to lots of other international work and opportunities.
For more information, go to www.forbeez.ca, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 780-340-3047.
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