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CPOS has put great entertainment on two films – to November 28

November 22, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

The pandemic closed the theatres but it could not stop the show. It has not been simple but it mattered that the team of directors and staff of Theatre Orangeville’s Creative Partners On Stage (CPOS) stay in touch, keep the jokes and the singing going and make sure everyone knew how to create this entertainment online. The eventual result is the online show films that are available from now until Nov. 28.

Chandra Pepper wrote and directed Zoom Zoom Room, a Cabaret Show. Her Assistant Director was Jenee Gowing. They invited the actors to write their own jokes. There is singing – there’s dance – moments of creative expression and cabaret! People will recognize many of the actors from previous wonderful shows that CPOS has performed on stage at Theatre Orangeville.

In her director’s notes, Ms. Pepper comments, in part: “Having each actor in their own rooms, but still doing choreography and group performances as a whole helped make us feel a little less alone. And that’s what our piece is about, having fun in the face of adversity. Just like this whole pandemic.”

The Citizen caught up to Kaitlyn Gallant, Theatre Orangeville programs manager, sitting in with Elisabeth Glenday, co-director with Kristen Gamach of the other show, Hidden Talent Showcase. This show brings attention to the many other talents and interests these individuals possess. 

“It was the same,” began Ms. Gallant. “When the world stopped due the pandemic, the program kept going. We were able to keep the programs going. Both of the shows were created virtually and both Chandra and Elizabeth knew they could make arts within the comfort of the actors’ own homes.”

Adding, “There was a lot of support from the families; there was a lot of extra work on the part of a lot people to make this work.”

Now to share it all with all of you: “Both the shows are available online today until November 28.”

Ms. Glenday told us, “They are $10 for each and the tickets sales go back into the group, to make sure this program stays running because it is such an important part of the community.”

Over the whole time of lockdown and restricted visiting, it all happened online. In one of the shows, there was one time when a support staff was able to go into the group home, as an off-camera stage manager.

“Apart from that, the families really chipped,” Ms. Gallant praised them. “I would say that the families [contributed]. One mom did the voice over; they had to provide props and costumes. It was really fun. People may be surprised to see their names on the credits.”

The live in-theatre shows on stage by CPOS are completely different from everything else, very moving in a surprising way and unforgettable. People missed them and asked if online versions of them were coming.

In this town, community is everything.

Said Ms. Gallant further, “The community of those artists and of our staff – our community from Community Living Dufferin (CLD) and Orangeville, that support came from people asking to see these shows and asking when and ‘how can we see them?’”

A creative Covid has taught how them to be creative in other ways, still running very inclusive programs.

Elizabeth is fascinated by the idea of: “We can run a hybrid between video and live; this has been a learning curve for the actors. We did spend a bit of time early on just using Zoom, showing them how to turn on the microphone so they could express themselves in their own way. It was important for them to have a room to themselves. There were some differences but we kept them to an hour long and the actors had to be quiet while we worked with other actors.”

Zoom has its own discipline.

In normal times, before Covid, it took 12 or 15 weeks to rehearse but these were extended a couple of times. An hour a week for about 12 weeks meant actors did much more work on their own and their families and workers helped a lot. 

Trying to keep the rehearsal format in a way that was familiar was important. Warm up and theatre games to work on skills: “It was a fun process that built up to the show,” said Ms. Glenday.

“Especially on Zoom, they had to take turns,” she told the Citizen. “And learn other ways to express their appreciation for someone else’s work and there were technical issues. Sometimes, if you’re out [of] town your internet is not as good.”

We took a moment to reflect: from Kaitlyn Gallant, “I think the biggest take away for me is the perseverance and the determination that artists have. They have true love for the things they do and the ability to push through the pandemic and learning to have this online life speaks to the desire and the commitment that we see from our artists and the desire and love that they have for theatre.”

For Elizabeth Glenday, “It was the resilience and it really helped watching Theatre Orangeville’s resilience because [those] guys didn’t miss a beat and then our actors followed suit. That resilience that we saw from Theatre Orangeville went right through our group. So, it really was wonderful to see that.”

In their show, there are teasers about a certain Artistic Director appearing.

One of the actors conceded: “David can be in my scene if he’ll wear a dress.”

We were told for certain: “Everyone is just so excited to give back to the public and to have it back from them.”

Ms. Glenday summed it up, “The way people were involved is the evidence we have about how the families feel about it.”

For more information and to purchase tickets go to

Or call the lovely people at the Box Office, on 519-942-3423 or 1-800-424-1295. Both shows are online until November 28 and you need a ticket for each show. All the money goes back into CPOS.

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