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If you have a little time on your hands, teacher Audrey Rowell and her Kelly Road Theatre students have a yarn to tell you. Of course, they have put a new spin on it.
Kelly Road school’s Grade 11 and 12 drama students will present Rumplestilskin: The R-Dawg Hip-Hop Minstrel from Dec. 5 to 8 at the school.
Costumes and props are colourful and creative.
Adapted by playwright Bobby Keniston, the new storyline is absolutely hilarious and the actors’ antics will keep the audience in stitches.
Lucky for the pampered Prince played by Melissa Readman, there is plenty of oversized watermelon on hand when Innkeeper (Paul Raine) runs out of ideas about how to please his master. In this fractured fairy tale, Shelbi Schuk has the lead role of Stacy, the miller’s daughter, the village storyteller who it is rumoured spins straw into gold.
In the traditional children’s tale, the miller brags about his beautiful daughter’s special spinning talent and she ends up pledging her first born child. This twisted version of Rumplestilskin a happier ending.
Graeme MacKenzie has the title role of the fame-hungry, hip-hop artist with his gift for gab. Although he’s a relative newcomer to live theatre, MacKenzie has already been bitten by the acting bug. The Grade 11 student says the part is a perfect fit for him, given his sense of humour, talents and other interests.
“I’m taking dance classes and I also like public speaking. So this part gives me an opportunity do both of those. This is my first real stage role.”
Why did he audition?
“I heard the lead guy in the play was a rapper and his costume get up had lots of bling – and I like that. So I thought I’d give it a try. It seemed an interesting role to me. In my rapper role, I act as the narrator explaining the scenes through rhymes so that during scene sets, I am letting people know what’s going on in the play.”
The interludes act as a device to detract the audience from set changes.
“Mrs. Rowell [artistic director], doesn’t like curtains opening and closing a lot because she likes the audience to stay focussed on the play. So I keep them amused while the set changes are going on. “
Each student has their time to shine in the spotlight, he says.
“Everyone has an actual speaking role in this, they all have roles, they’re not just involved as backstage or technical crew.”
Does he think acting has helped him?
“Drama has definitely been a good experience for me and I would recommend it to anyone. I mean, we’re all as weird as the next person (he laughs) when it comes down to it. So why not?”
Kelly Road Theatre presents: Rumplestilskin The R-Dawg Hip-Hop Minstrel Dec. 5 to 8. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Curtains at 7 p.m. Rush seating. Tickets sold at the door. General admission $10, students and seniors, $5, Children under 12, $2.