Final countdown to The Sound of Music
November 4, 2019 9:34 am
In just a few days, the Conexus MCC Centre will be alive with the Sound of Music.
Creative Vision Productions are running through rehearsals this week in preparation for four shows this weekend—Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights and Sunday afternoon.
“We’ve been working with the band the last two weekends and things are shaping up,” said Sandra Poole, one of the forces behind Creative Vision Productions.
“There are lots of different elements to bring together. This week we have been fine-tuning the choreography.
“We have the chorus of nuns and they have been practising twice a week, and Sherrie works with the actors while I do the singing part and then we bring it all together.”
“What’s very exciting is when we meet on the weekends now, all these people come together and see the different parts that other people have been working on,” adds Sherrie Meredith, another force behind Creative Vision. “That’s been exciting for me to see.”
“The basement of the United Church is filled with costumes,” adds Sandra. “The ladies working on the costumes have been just amazing.”
The women say the real excitement for them was about to start over this past weekend as the cast moved into the Conexus MCC Centre to rehearse.
“We will be rehearsing all day Saturday, Sunday afternoon and evening and then every evening up to the show. This will be the first time we’ll be working with lights, mikes, set, projections, all the technical pieces. The cast have had to envision everything and now there will be the couch there, there will be the staircase there, the sets will be in place, so all the pieces of the puzzle will be coming together,” says Sandra.
“By this time not only does everyone know their parts, they know everyone else’s parts. If somebody misses a line, they get fed by one of the other actors.
“The first five months it’s five days a week. We practice every night Sunday to Thursday, but the last few weeks it’s six or seven weeks.”
Sandra and Sherrie had a “day off” on Thursday as there was no rehearsal because of Halloween.
“I’m going to make a mike chart tonight because I have the day off,” says Sandra. “I’ll be doing set change and plot diagrams for the walls. You paste everything up on a spreadsheet so people backstage know what’s happening where, and when they come in.
“We think we know exactly what we want, but throughout this week there will be minor changes with entrances and exits, and music in different places until we get it the way we want it.
“If people have never been to one of our shows, they will be surprised how much like the movie it is.”
“One thing I’m proud of is our amazing local talent that we have in this show,” said Sherrie.
“You can go to the city and see shows with professional people, but our people are just as talented as the professionals. The talent is just so amazing. We have people involved from Whitewood, Maryfield, Wawota, Welwyn, Rocanville, Moosomin, and Langenburg.
“Everything you see on stage is local talent, and everything that night, from the desserts donated by the wonderful people of Moosomin to the talent you see on the stage, to the sets, everything is a local effort.”
“We are very close to being sold out for all four performances,” said Sandra. “There are some seats for Sunday night, but not very many seats left for the other nights.
“We actually added a table to two of our shows which we had maxed out,” added Sherrie.
“It should be a busy weekend at the rink, because it’s the minor hockey weekend as well, so the parking lot might be pretty full.
“The actors will be coming in through the Communiplex lobby where the concession is, so with the minor hockey weekend it might be pretty crowded in there. Our green room this year is in the bowling alley, so there will be people everywhere.”
Funds raised through the performance go toward improvements at the MCC Centre. Funds from previous Creative Vision productions have helped with the costs of stage curtains, stage lighting, portable staging, two pianos, sound equipment, stage flooring, and tablecloths and napkins for the MCC Centre.
“Right now we are working on an electric tress that will come down so you can put your lights on without using a lift,” said Sherrie. “We need that, because when you are using the facility for sports like volleyball, you want to be able to remove the lights between performances to keep them safe.”
Both women said they are excited about seeing the performance come to life this weekend.
“There’s nothing like performing for a live audience,” says Sandra. “An appreciative live audience. You work so hard to share your passion, and when people enjoy it, there’s no better feeling. When you see all of these people on stage performing in front of a crowd and their parts just coming to life, it’s amazing. We’ve seen growth with everybody we’ve worked with, and it’s been so exciting. It’s the best feeling. The actors themselves, to see the transformation is amazing. Some of the actors saw some of the sets come in on the weekend, and that makes it more real for them, and then once they’re in their costumes they seem to transform into their characters once they have their costumes on. We are so lucky to have such an amazing group of people.”
“We’re in for a really long week of rehearsals,” added Sherrie. “There will be a big push, but the end is the icing on the cake, to see everyone’s work come to life, to see those costumes under the lights and to see it all come together for an audience to appreciate—I’m looking forward to it.
“There are some kids that have never sung before, and have found their singing voice by doing the show,” says Sherrie. “It’s amazing.”
The cast is a mix of veterans and first-timers. “We have one young man, Caleb, he was in Joseph in Grade 5 and now he’s back,” says Sandra. “He hasn’t sung since he was in Grade 5 and he’s had to find his young man voice. We have some chorus people who have been in all of them, but every time we’ve had some people who have just come to the fold.”
“Blake Kelly has been in all of them,” adds Sherrie. “My two girls have been in all of them, Olivia Kelly has been in all of them. There are a few who have been in every show, but we just build the family every show. Desiree Neville has been in our shows, and now her children are.”
Sandra says she is proud of how the cast and crew come together.
“It’s like a hockey team or volleyball team—it’s wonderful to see them work together.”