This week the Hazelton Secondary School is showcasing two in-house productions for the community.The first one is called The Art of Rejection by Christian Kiley and is approximately 25 minute long and will be performed by the Grade 9-12 acting class, teacher Barb Janze explained.“The play is a comedy about a subject we can all relate to at some point in our life: rejection,” she said. “The students are working very hard in a very short time to put it together and I am very impressed with their efforts and interest. It is a group of mostly beginners and they are doing a wonderful job so far.”The second show is called Camel Dung and Cloves by Dana Murphy which will be performed by an after school group of 4 girls. Janze said three of the girls have had “quite a bit of experience” in musicals and two of them were in last year’s Drama Festival play ‘Wheel of Justice’. “This second play is a dark or black comedy and is excellently written, although it is not recommended for smaller children, ages eight and under,” she shared. “The girls are doing a fabulous job of this play. Both are really worth watching.”Janze said they are hoping for a packed house on Thursday March 3 in the Multi-purpose room at the school to help the groups getting ready for their competition.“Both groups are getting ready to take their plays to the High School Zone Drama Festival Competition in Prince Rupert on March 10,” she said. “They need an audience to perform in front of before they leave.”With the upcoming competition in mind, Janze said she is encouraging the audience to make suggestions and comments for the cast and crew after each show or leave a suggestion in the suggestion box. In addition, the event will also be a big fundraiser for the large group as producing plays and staying in Prince Rupert for the four days is going to be expensive.
“The Drama Zone Festival is a big deal,” Janze added. “Every year high school groups from Houston to Prince Rupert meet and perform for each other and a professional adjudicator. It is a real big deal for our students at Hazelton Secondary for a number of reasons but two big ones are; they get to perform in a real theatre because we don’t have one in Hazelton and secondly, they get to see other plays which they don’t get to do very often if at all.”For Janze it is an all around great experience for her students she said as well as a nice chance to see what is happening in other northern communities.“It is always exciting to see what good theatre youth are producing in the Northwest,” she said. “The plays are always excellent and creative. Last year’s plays were incredible. We really produce some top notch stuff here in the Northwest Region.”In addition to great entertainment, Janze explained that the adjudicator picks one of the plays to represent the region at the Provincials in May. “Hazelton won that opportunity a few years ago with then high school student written Caitlin Forsyth’s Sick Little Suicide,” Janze said. “Going to the Provincials and performing for students and professionals from the whole province is an incredible experience.”Janze also added that they will be using the new raised seating at the school this week which means everyone is “guaranteed to have a great view.” Tickets can be picked up at the school, Mercedes Beans and Model Teas, Bulkley Valley Credit Union until 3 p.m. on Thursday, and at the door but Janze added to try to arrive at 7 p.m. to get a ticket for the door. Ticket prices are $10 for an adult and $7 for a youth.Doors for the multi-purpose room won’t open until 7:15 p.m. with the Art of Rejection starting at 7:30 p.m. sharp. There will be a short intermission and then the second play will start at approximately 8 p.m. There will be also be a concession at the intermission. Janze also said they would like to thank those organizations who have given them fundraising opportunities and made donations towards their fundraising efforts.There are also a few additional projects Janze has on the go one of which is “Musical in a Week – Treasure Island” which will be held April 18-23. Currently she needs people to register for this upcoming production. To sign up or get more information contact Janze at the school.