Drama Ensemble Presents: The Truman Show

Imagine having your every waking moment recorded and broadcasted to the whole world. Imagine finding out that your neighbours, your wife, even your mother were all actors. You’d think you were going crazy. That you were paranoid. You would become unable to trust anyone even relatively close to you.  Slowly, though, as the signs began to clear, you wouldn’t be able to avoid the thought that maybe your life wasn’t  “your life.”

This year’s Drama Ensemble took these ideas and explored them in “The Truman Show.”  The screenplay was originally written by Andrew Niccol and the film was adapted for the stage by our very own Mrs. Boucher. Niccol, a well known sci-fi writer, received immense critical acclaim for “The Truman Show” during its release in 1998. Because of this, Mrs. Boucher and this year’s Drama Ensemble had a lot to live up to.

This show was unlike anything LFAS has ever seen. Even unlike anything Mrs. Boucher had even considered. Because she also teaches film, the genre became a huge component that tied the show together.

“All of the video involved in the show made it a very complex and intriguing show,” Jenna Andres, an ensemble member, said.  “Also, the show involved 54 students, and a lot more people, including teachers and volunteers who put in a bunch of their time. That’s the most people we’ve ever had work on a show at LFAS.

Because of the teacher strike and rentals of the theatre, the tech team had limited time to set up the tech aspects and a sparse amount of time to rehearse it.  In the Director’s Note, Mrs. Boucher commented on the difficulties. “We didn’t even get all the screens up and working until three weeks before the show…and combining the multimedia with the acting was a challenge.

Nevertheless, the tech team, headed by Rhys Krannitz, scrambled furiously to get the show going. Spring Break and long weekends spent in the theatre were frequent sacrifices in order to be able to have a spectacular show. Various obstacles such as these made the show seem big, bigger than anyone had imagined. The sheer immensity of this took its toll on the whole of the ensemble.

One student said, “Long weekends spent at the school. I hated them at the time, but now I realize that that’s the time where I made friends during this process.”

It took a huge amount of outside volunteer work in order for the show to function. Lauren Wade took over as prop director, painter and pretty much anything else that needed to get done. A vast number of non-ensemble members signed on to help in any way they could. As always, the drama team teachers, Mr. Bryson, Ms. Fowlis and the new student teacher Ms. Megrian, aided in more places than one. Costume Designer, Christina Petford, signed on at the last minute to clothe the 54 Ensemble members. Art 9/10 and Mr. Sarganis made the car, painted sets, and created the posters around the theatre.

“I’d like people to realize how much work some people do put into drama,” one student commented, “Especially our teachers! Our teachers have been so so amazing during this process and they’ve put so much work into the show – it’s hard to understand. I can’t thank them enough.”

For many, such as Leslie Jahava, the ensemble became more than just an extra-curricular activity. “Ensemble has always been a sacred privilege to the LFAS community. Each September, we excitedly crowd into the seats of the theatre. Some of us bitter about our parts, some of us surprised, all of us fortunate to even be in Ensemble. In the beginning, we usually clique up, separating by grade and friendships. We start off a group of kids, people, who don’t have any idea what they are capable of and end up so much more. “

“I love the fact that ‘drama ensemble’ has changed to ‘drama family,’” Ceilidh Dobbie said.

However, now that the scrim has been crashed, the stage painted black, the thrust put away, the various projectors taken down, the Christof station dismantled, the props pulled, the lights un-programmed, the switchers switched off, and the curtain brought down, it’s unbelievable to think that it’s over.

For her last Ensemble show, Saige Carlson commented, “I want people to recognize us at LFAS as not just high school theatre kids.  I want the Truman Show to be looked at as professional or university level theatre.”

To the cast, the crew, and especially the director, congratulations, you did this and more.

Leslie Jahava

For more information on The Truman Show, read Inside the Truman Show with Ms. Boucher.

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Photos by Lauren Wade and Alex Ivanovic

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