The 2019 Aspengrove Arts Showcase was an exceptional event that could only have taken place thanks to countless hours of work from many different members of the AGS community. In particular, the Grade 9 class took on a huge role in organizing, running and performing in the show. All members of the class were involved in the preparation, which began with planning and running auditions. Grade 9 students were also in charge of advertising, making programs, writing the MC scripts and creating set lists. Having the showcase in the VIU Theatre contributed to the prestige of the showcase, but it also added another level of difficulty for the Grade 9’s. Students practiced new skills by managing the lights and sound effects for the show. Furthermore, as there was a limited amount of time in the theatre, the backstage crew only had a few hours to master the technology needed for the showcase, which included (but was not limited to) the curtains, revolve and spotlights.
On top of all the preparation for the showcase, the Grade 9 class was developing their one-act play; At the Bottom of Lake Missoula. All Grade 9 students had a hand in the show, whether it was on the stage or behind it. It was a huge undertaking, as some people had never even acted on stage before. We gathered our own costumes, designed blocking for each of the scenes and developed our own lighting and sound. Although we were panicking as the showcase date moved closer and closer, the performance seemed to come together right at the end.
A student who was especially involved in the creative process was Jessica Godfrey, who was the Stage Manager for the first act of the show and the grade 9 one-act play.
Interview with Grade 9 Student, Jessica Godfrey
Interview conducted by: Charlotte Taylor and Megan Saunders
Q. What was a challenge you faced while working on this show? (practical or creative)
“It was hard to wrap head around every detail that was inside the project.”
Q. What was your favourite aspect of working on this show?
“The different parts at the beginning were really choppy […] but then by the end, when we showed the play, everything came together.”
Q. What were some lessons you learned from the experience of stage managing a show?
“Plan every little bit of it. Make sure you know exactly what’s going on.”
Q. What would you like for the audience to take away from this show?
“Treasure the time you have with the people you care about.”
Q. Could you provide some advice for any aspengrove students who are interested in theatre tech, or stage management specifically?
“Be prepared to take criticism. Constructive criticism is important.”
We would like to extend a special thanks to Jill Mont and Kristina Jones, the driving forces behind this evening. Your dedication to the arts program at AGS is invaluable. We are also extremely grateful for all the parents who volunteered and supported their children throughout this process. Lastly, a huge congratulations to all the students who made this show a reality. We did it, guys!
- Megan Saunders