May 30th, 2024

FLVT students ready to showcase ‘Madagascar’

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on May 4, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Father Leonard Van Tighem School Performing Arts students are ready to showcase their latest production, Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr. at the Yates Memorial Theatre Tuesday and Wednesday.
Directed by Michele Hammel and Alexie Beaulac, Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr. takes the audience along the journey to freedom from zoo life of the four main characters, Alex the Lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippo and Melman the giraffe.
Beaulac spoke to the Herald Thursday during rehearsals and said everyone is excited to showcase what they have been working on since September.
“We’re lucky enough to have an option course during the day, so all of our kiddos who are in the show participate in the option course during class time. That’s where we get a lot of our choreography and all that stuff done. And then we do after school rehearsals here and there,” said Beaulac.
She said it has been a long process, but it is definitely paying off. Beaulac added that it has been a major team effort with almost a 100 people involved in the production.
“It’s just such a big group effort that this show would never be able to happen without it. Anyone of those people being gone, we wouldn’t. We need that entire group just to make this awesome show happen,” said Beaulac.
She said the production is a collaboration between staff and students. With staff members Dana Visser as musical director and stage managers Jessica Johnson who designed the props for the scenes and Dina Henderson, who designed the costumes.
Beaulac said they chose Madagascar for this year’s production because the movie is iconic and many kids quote it all the time.
“Last year we did The Little Mermaid and the year before we did Aladdin. We’re trying to pick shows with either music or characters that people already either know or are familiar with and also to get the kids excited,” said Beaulac.
Grade 9 student Sara Chali, who plays Marty the zebra said she has enjoyed playing her character and cannot wait to show everyone else what he is all about.
“My character, he’s very curious and he wants freedom, he wants out of his habitat and he’s just looking for somewhere to be free,” said Chali.
She said her character is pretty similar to the Marty in the movie which makes his a very fun character to portray. Chali added that this gave her the freedom to play around with the character and make it her own.
“I think he’s a really funny character and there’s lots of opportunities to be different with him, there’s lots of freedom to do what you want. He’s just a very fun character to be,” said Chali.
When it comes to finally being able to perform at the Yates, Chali said she feels a combination of nerves and excitement.
“It’s really exciting but I’m a little bit nervous though, but it feels great to be able to finally show what we’ve been working on for so long and to finally perform,” said Chali.
She added that it will be great to show what so many people have been working on, as everyone has put a lot into it.
“Everyone put so much time into it and lots of dedication. I think we need to recognize it because it’s a lot. It’s really amazing how much time and dedication the teachers have put into this play. They put in more work that anyone, and I think it’s really important recognize that,” said Chali.
Grade 9 student Iri Jagunna, who plays Alex the lion, echoed Chali’s words by saying that each and every one of them had put in many hours and a lot of work.
 “I feel like when you are a part of a play in a team like this, everyone definitely has to put in their part and once they do it, something magical and amazing happens,” said Jagunna.
When speaking about her character, Jagunna highlighted how much Alex loves his friends and how much he enjoys the many adventures they take part on.
“He loves his friends, Marty, Melman and Gloria are his best friends and he loves to do a lot of things with them,” said Jagunna.
She added that Alex also likes to let everyone know how big and important he is, that there is no other lion like him.
 “I would describe Alex as someone who definitely likes to be a leader and definitely looks to be ‘that guy’. He definitely wants everyone to know who he is,” said Jagunna.
Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr public performances will take place May 7 and May 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Yates Memorial Theatre.
More information can be found in the Father Leonard Van Tighem School website.

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