Christmas Carol Chronicles, Part XXIII
Though she is incredibly young, Janelle Leask still feels like one of the veterans of Keyano Theatre Company (KTC). She plays Mary in the production of A Christmas Carol that previews in just a couple of hours and opens tomorrow. I couldn't imagine my recent history with the company without Janelle. She's a lovely lady with "that beautiful singing voice", as noted by Scrooge during one of the final scenes of the show.
I threw a few questions her way to find out a little more about what this community theatre journey has meant to her.
How did you begin your KTC adventures and what productions have you done over the years?
I started with my KTC journey back in 2007 by playing Jan in Grease. I was in grade twelve when I found out that they were doing Grease in the upcoming season and decided to audition come September. Since then I have been in High School Musical (Taylor - 2010), Hometown... The Musical! (Jen - 2013) and Les Miserables (chorus - 2014).
What is the pay-off for you in spending so many weeks (and long hours) rehearsing and performing shows? What is your driver?
I love being a part of KTC because I get to spend time with my theatre friends that I have made over the years as well as making new friends. It's also a great opportunity to discover new things about myself, overcome fears, etc. My driver would have to be the warmth and the feeling I get by just being on stage. It grows more and more each day from the first reading to the time we get to perform in front of an audience. Some people get that feeling the moment they see the set for the first time, others when they get their costumes. For me it's an audience. There's nothing like it. I'm smiling just writing this.
How is community theatre important to the health and vitality of our community?
Community theatre is important because it brings the community together. There's always a huge amount of love in that room. People you would have never thought you would meet or become friends with are now your best friends. These community shows also give the entire audience a sense of pride. These are real people putting in real time, just for the community. It brings us all together in a sense. When the actors do it right, the audience feels like they're a part of the show. Everyone needs that little escape once and a while, into a different world or dimension.
A Christmas Carol is directed by Jacqueline Russell with Set and Costume Design by Roger Schultz, and Lighting Design by Byron Hnatuk. Our Stage Manager is Steph Link.