A thoroughly engaging, family production is about to hit the stage in Bashaw.
Bashaw Community Theatre is staging Roald Dahl’s Matilda – The Musical at the Bashaw United Church with opening night slated for Nov. 14th at 7 p.m.
Additional performances run Nov. 15th-16th and Nov. 21st-23rd with curtain at 7 p.m. as well.
Matinees will also be featured Nov. 17th and Nov. 24th at 2 p.m.
For tickets and information, check out www.bashawcommunitytheatre.com.
Bashaw Community Theatre has been producing plays for about 10 years now, explained Lori Miller, the troupe’s artistic and musical director. She added that with a range of local theatrical endeavours, Bashaw is really an arts-based community. “But it’s more than that – it’s about people coming together with intention to create a sense of belonging – that’s honestly what it is.
“We do it to create a safe place to be vulnerable, to create a a sense of belonging and something that is really impactful for the people involved and those watching.
“We hadn’t realized how many incredibly talented people are in this area and the surrounding area. They’ve really come together in a way that is a really beautiful thing,” she added. “You see results that take many ‘creative hands’ to bring about both on and off the stage. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of.”
As to Matilda, Miller is thrilled to be bringing it to the local stage.
“I love this play. My husband and I saw it in London five years ago, and I said to him then, I want to do that show! It’s full of character and life,” she said, adding that it didn’t come without its challenges. For starters, the vocal performances demand much in the way of tackling harmonies and expression in communicating the storyline.
“It was going to be a journey.”
According to the mtishows.com web site, Matilda is described as, ‘A little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers.
“She’s unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly lovable Miss Honey. Over the course of her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey have a profound effect on each other’s lives, as Miss Honey begins not only to recognize but also appreciate Matilda’s extraordinary personality.
“Matilda’s school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, however – the school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and could be the school pupils’ saving grace!”
Meanwhile, Miller describes Matilda as a really funny play, but, “It’s beautiful too because it’s like all really good theatre.
“It’s a well-rounded story with well-rounded characters, with humour, some touching moments – just a great family play,” she said, adding there are 20 younger actors being featured, along with seven teens and a few adults, too.
“It’s a really strong cast.”
For Miller, being involved with community theatre is a gift all its own.
“I just have a love for people and a love for doing this, which has resulted in lots of experiences of doing this. I think you can approach anything knowing that there is joy and sometimes a tough journey ahead. But just caring for the people along the way and throughout it, you’ve got it ‘made in the shade’ when you do that.”
Also, in approaching what is essentially a classic story, Miller fundamentally knows what she wants to see with a given production. “I usually have a pretty good vision of what I think it will become,” she said. “But you stay open to people, to ideas and to moments that happen, and you think, ‘Oh my gosh – I hadn’t even looked at it that way!
“In this case, there has been really strong collaboration.”
When all is said and done, Miller hopes folks leave the show with a renewed sense of joy, hope, belonging and wonder.
“Any good play is a reflection of us,” she added. “It’s that collective ‘knowing’ where you get to escape into joy, belonging and laughter, and tears as well. I truly hope they leave with a sense of joy,” she added. “I know they will. It’s just that good of a play.”
Again, for more tickets and information, check out www.bashawcommunitytheatre.com.