Duncan Christian School sets the stage, and time machine back to 1959 with A Fine Line. An era of poodle skirts, leather jackets, hot rods, and division.
This story, which has elements of Grease and West Side Story, will be performed by a cast of 30 Grade 10 to 12 students in the Duncan Christian Elementary School gym from April 27 to 29. Thursday is opening night and will see students donning 1950’s garb while the gym reflects the classic era. Dinner will follow suit in fine 1950s fashion with music of the times, and malt shop favourites of burgers, fries, milkshakes and floats. At $30 a ticket, all funds will go towards the Grade 12 mission trip to Mexico where 20 students will have the rewarding experience of making a difference from May 14 to 21.
“We need to raise a few thousand more for the house build. If we could raise $1,000-$1,500 at the dinner, that would be fantastic,”said Mexico mission coordinator Deb Spencer. “This year we are building a house for a couple with a newborn. We are very excited to be able to travel internationally again.”
Grade 12 student Dara De Vries, who plays a waitress on the greaser side in the upcoming production, is thrilled for the trip and the chance to put her focus on others.
“I’m pretty excited,” said De Vries. “My parents are both missionaries, so doing mission trips is something that I always wanted to do; I love helping people.”
Director Greg Hollet, who has 20 years of shows under his belt, shares that A Fine Line is sure to be a great time, whether you lived through the fabulous ’50s or are experiencing it for the first time.
“It’s for a great cause, and going to be a lot of fun,” says Hollet. “It’s about the realization that when you are in community there is often division, and to answer the question, how do you work out those differences to come out the other end as a better people?”
In the works since 2019, this production has had full student collaboration in every aspect.
“That’s when the concept came together. My last couple of shows I decided to invite the students in to partake in the collaboration process,” said Hollet. “We were two weeks away from production when the pandemic struck. The students seem to take more ownership when they are invested in something they helped create.”
Grade 10 students Tucker Klassen, Grayson Dunn, and Bowen Spencer all have siblings going to Mexico and are grateful to be a part of this production that supports their trip, not to mention all they have learned along the way.
“The acting practices has been great, but what I love most is spending time with people you wouldn’t normally get to spend time with,” said Tucker (greaser). “I knew nothing about acting before this production and I love to learn, it’s really been a lot of fun.”
Spencer who plays three roles adds, “Mr. Hollett has really helped me with self awareness on stage and my projection.”
Dunn (preppy) added, “It’s been really cool seeing it all come together.”
Regular shows will run on April 28, at 7 :30 p.m., and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on April 29. Tickets will be $15 for adults, $10 for youth, and $6 for children and are available at the school or by calling 250-746-3654.
“I love when the kids get to the point that they see the vision, especially with new students because most of them haven’t spent much time on stage,” said Hollet.
As the students step out of their comfort zones to take the stage, Hollet hopes they take away connections they didn’t have before and the audience leaves feeling connected.
“I hope they take away friendships that last a long time, if not for life, and that they take away a renewed or new confidence with their heads held high and a feeling they step into any upcoming challenge that greets them,” said Hollet. “I hope the audience leaves with a smile on their face, a song in their heart, and a skip in their step knowing that they’ve been there. I think anything we can do to build community, especially after the last three years, is so important.”