Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s TO’s Creative Partners on Stage

March 15, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

“The hardest thing to do in the theatre is to play comedy,” David Nairn, Artistic Director of Theatre Orangeville, confirmed. 

He was talking about the production the Creative Partners on Stage performed last weekend on the main stage at Theatre Orangeville – School for Super Heroes.

This is was a very spoof-filled piece about a group of students attending such a School for Super Heroes, lead by their Professor UU, performed by Michael. 

There are seven students, the Professor and a mysterious evil influence who was leading one of the students astray! During their lessons, the students worked on their super powers, including and especially Mind Control. In fact, it is their united Mind Control that won the day in the end. 

They were all fine performances and two solos songs, from Professor UU, by Michael, and Colleen, whose role was Sue, the Valedictorian.

Having noted that, the entire cast spun the tale and the jokes with tremendous fun. The plot was that the mysterious evil influence, who was only to be seen on a screen on the stage, like a giant telephone, convinced Tony, the tallest student/Villain, played by Matthew, to destroy the school. 

The other students were acted by Monica Graeber, Stephanie and Travis Grist (who are married), Whitney Proteau, Anne Rogers, and Deborah Woods.

When Tony threw his head back and laughed maniacally, as his evil plot was developing, he was as chilling as Boris Karloff of decades ago. He did a really great job.

The other students couldn’t figure out who was trying to hurt them and the school but they were not afraid; they were determined to stop whomever it was and they didn’t know about the mysterious evil influence on the screen, who only talked to Tony.

The students struggled – were defeated and came back to win over the mysterious villain; then, they rescued Tony by telling him they were his friends and he was free of the spell that had been cast on him. 

Happiness all round.

Full disclosure: it was David Nairn himself who played the mystery bad guy on the screen; “for his most excellent cameo appearance,” the program thanked him. 

We took advantage of the moment to talk to the three stars, Michael Boldireff, Colleen Curran and Matthew Deprinse, after one of the performances.

Matthew has been in previous shows with this company for five years. He told the Citizen, “I started drama in high school. Elizabeth and Kristen pulled this together and Elizabeth told me, ‘You should do this show.’”

Living here in Orangeville for the last five years, Michael told us, “because my older sister lives here. I was in California, singing there. I have been singing with this group in Murder at the Talent Show.”

Colleen is a familiar face with the C.P.O.S. “I’ve been in Orangeville since 1985 – I used to live in Marsville.”

She has been in many plays with the CLD drama and music groups: “It’s been over 20 shows I did before Theatre Orangeville.”

She has continued her performing with the group in many shows since then.

There is in formation, in progress, a very adventurous plan to produce A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the stage on Island Lake with “a mix of professional and non-professional actors, young and old, celebrating all levels of ability, both physical and developmental, and in experience level.”

Matthew is to be a part of this. Said he, “The workshops are starting now. I heard of Shakespeare from other people and thought, maybe, I should do it.”

Colleen commented, “We have had so much fun together doing this show. There were 20 games, workshops and dancing a little bit.

“When I came here, my mother’s advice was, ‘don’t be shy. These people are here to help you.’ These guys have been phenomenal.”

She said, “I work at the Avalon as a server and a cook.”

“I act and sing,” Michael informed us. “In L.A, I sang New York, New York to an audience. I’m a professional singer. I volunteer as an usher here at the theatre too.”

And Matthew confirmed, “I was born here. I do all sorts of jobs, building decks, landscaping.”

During the discussion a few days later, with Mr. Nairn, he outlined the format and intention of the C.P.O.S., “There are two companies, one does the musical – comedy this time too – and the other does a drama. Past shows used to be a celebration of who we are. This [School of Super Heroes] was about who they are not. What we want to do is celebrate ability, show talent. We want them to up their game. We have people who have been with us for 14 years. 

“There will be crossing – people can move interchangeably [as planned with Midsummer Night’s Dream]. In this flexibility of creative directing, we want to push the envelope of what they can do. Chandra Pepper who is now directing the drama group, is redefining the company. They will be offered opportunities and challenges. 

“Everybody wants to get better,” he commented, with conviction.

For more information, go to Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream is being performed on the waterfront amphitheatre in the Island Lake Conservation area. They have lots of room there for audiences, bringing their own chairs and, even picnics. 

It is still snowing as we write, so this is a beautiful thought.


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