Spotlight on ... Our Drama Campers! (Part Two)

From left to right: Lady Petunia (Marie), the Queen (Grace), and the queen’s mother (Madison).  Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

From left to right: Lady Petunia (Marie), the Queen (Grace), and the queen’s mother (Madison).

Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

It’s time to meet the rest of the cast from this week’s Drama Camp production of A Dragon in the Mix!

———

The Royals:

The royal court in A Dragon in the Mix consists of The Queen (played by Grace), the queen’s mother (played by Madison), and their lady in waiting, Lady Petunia (played by Marie).

Each of the show’s royals enjoy different aspects of their part. “My favorite thing about my character is that I don’t have so many lines, and that I can curtsy ,” says Marie. “My favorite thing about my character is that I’m the queen and I get to wear like a really fancy outfit, and I like that the queen is always worried because I feel like it’s really easy for me to act out,” says Grace. “My favorite thing about my character is probably the fact that the princesses, my granddaughters, are always making fun of me, and they say that in my age I was boring and everything, and it’s just like, really funny, and I like being one of the royals,” Madison says. “It’s really fun!”

Grace, Madison, and Marie are all looking forward to the show and had several moments they think the audience will enjoy. “[I like] when the princes say, ‘Oh, we’re really busy right now’ and I’m like ‘If you refuse, I’m throwing you in a dark dungeon’ and I get to say that whole line,” says Grace, “because, like, they’re all scared. Tyler and Colin were hugging each other because they were scared, and I’m really excited for that because I think the audience will laugh!” Marie nods and says, “I think [my favorite part is] when we all meet together, because it shows all our characters all in one scene.” When it comes to moments she thinks the audience will enjoy, Madison says, “There are a few parts, but probably the part where the princesses are making fun of me!”

From left to right: Aloe (Lola), Vinca (Gabby), Pothos (Ella), and Aspidistra (Lilliah)  Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

From left to right: Aloe (Lola), Vinca (Gabby), Pothos (Ella), and Aspidistra (Lilliah)

Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

When it comes to shout outs, each actress would like to thank someone different. Marie shouts out to her new friend Tyler. Grace would like to thank “the leaders, and my mom, and Mark, and my music teacher, and my drama teacher.” Madison says, “I would probably thank definitely all the leaders for helping us, and the cast. Like all of the cast are amazing people. And definitely my mom for helping me become an actress.”

The Governesses:

A Dragon in the Mix features several wise and sassy royal governesses who tutor the kingdom’s princesses. These governesses are Aspidistra (played by Lilliah), Pothos (played by Ella), Vinca (played by Gabby), and Aloe (played by Lola).

Several things about playing a governess are appealing to our actresses. “I like that we’re the teachers of the princesses and we always make like mad faces because they’re always doing not what they’re supposed to do!” says Ella. “[I like] what I get to say,” says Lola. “[I like] that the princesses say they can’t stand my lectures, and that I get to look like a lawyer,” says Lilliah. “I like that I play someone nasty and that I’ve only been here one week,” says Gabby, adding, “It’s exciting and fun.”

Three of our governesses share the same favorite scene. “I’m excited for the audience to see the princes fighting because it’s kinda funny and kinda weird because that’s what kids do, and they’re, like, acting like little kids,” says Ella. “Mine is the same as hers,” says Gabby, and Lola nods. Lilliah choses a different preferred scene and says, “My favorite part is the first scene when [the fairies] mess up, because if they didn’t mess up, then we wouldn’t be governesses and would have been stuck in the fairy tale, so that’s my favorite part!”

Ella wants to offer a shout out to camp leader Ally for helping her this week, as well as to Grace (who plays the Queen), saying “She comforts me and helps me when I don’t know where the page is!” Gabby would like to thank her friend Madison (who plays the queen’s mother), and Lilliah would like to thank her friend Julia. Lola did not wish to offer a special shout out but is glad to be here at camp.

The Princesses:

From left to right: Princess Rose (Breagh), Princess Lilac (Chelsea), Princess Lily (Willoughby), and Princess Daisy (Bea)  Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

From left to right: Princess Rose (Breagh), Princess Lilac (Chelsea), Princess Lily (Willoughby), and Princess Daisy (Bea)

Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

The cast of characters in A Dragon in the Mix is rounded out by four rebellious princesses: Princess Rose (played by Breagh), Princess Lily (played by Willoughby), Princess Daisy (played by Bea), and Princess Lilac (played by Chelsea).

Reacting in ways that are very unlike the other characters in the show is one of the most appealing aspects of being a princess for these young performers. “I like how we react to different things and want something to happen,” says Chelsea. “Yeah,” Bea adds, “[when something happens] most of the family is like ‘Oh my!’ but we’re just like ‘ …Wow.’”

These actresses also like how the princesses differ from most people they may encounter in real life. Breagh says, “I like how we want to be something that we’re not. Like, most people would love to be a princess and do whatever all day, but we want to have jobs. I also like that we’re less afraid of the dragon than the princes are.” Bea agrees and adds, “People like, hate their jobs, and wanna stay home and watch tv all day, but we’re like, ‘We want jobs! We’re unhappy!’” Chelsea chimes in saying, “We’re like ‘Get us out of this mansion! We want to work!’”

The inherent sass in the princess roles also makes them enjoyable for these performers. “I like that we get to do a lot of yelling in our part and interrupt our grandmother. I really like where we get to sing a song and skip around the governesses and bob our head up and down and make fun of them!” Breagh adds, “I like when we do the [sassy] poses!”

Each of these actresses wants to offer a special shout out to their parents. “It’s kind of been tough love,” says Breagh, “because I’ll be like ‘I wanna go in the pool!’ and they’re like, ‘No, you have to practice.’” Willoughby says, “I was allowed to stay up until 9 last night practicing!” Chelsea nods and says ‘They [our parents] put up with us!’”

Breagh, Willoughby, Bea, and Chelsea would also like to thank the camp leaders – including Elle, for going to the park with them on Wednesday! – and to all their fellow campers for encouraging them when they forget their lines.

———

Our camp production of A Dragon in the Mix is being performed tomorrow, Friday July 19th, at the Fountain Performing Arts Centre at KES. We hope you come see these talented young folks perform!

Spotlight on ... Our Drama Campers! (Part One)

Our  A Dragon in the Mix  fairies, left to right: Innuendo (Anna), Rumor ( Zoey), Gossip (Isabel), and Hearsay (Ella).  Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

Our A Dragon in the Mix fairies, left to right: Innuendo (Anna), Rumor ( Zoey), Gossip (Isabel), and Hearsay (Ella).

Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

Our QAAW Drama Camp production of A Dragon in the Mix has several memorable characters played by an extremely talented cast of young actors. Meet some of our talented campers!

——-

The Fairies:

In A Dragon in the Mix, several cute and silly fairies cause mischief as they cook up a fairy tale. These fairies are named Rumor (played by Zoey), Gossip (played by Isabel), Hearsay (played by Ella), and Innuendo (played by Anna).

Left to right: Princes Reginald (Tyler), Leopold (Colin), and Arthur (Kevin).  Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

Left to right: Princes Reginald (Tyler), Leopold (Colin), and Arthur (Kevin).

Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

When it comes to playing a fairy, our young actors enjoy different aspects of the part. “[I like] that I have a wand and get to do what I want with it,” says Zoey. “My favorite part of being a fairy is that I love how graceful fairies are; they’re tiny and cute,” says Anna. “I like having the wings and having a wand; I just like everything about being a fairy” says Isabel. Ella was creating a prop wand during this interview and opted not to speak, but listened in and nodded in agreement with her fellow fairies.

Despite different enjoying different things about playing fairies, all these actresses are most looking forward to performing the same scene. “The first scene!” says Anna. “Yeah, the first scene,” says Isabel. She continues, saying “That’s the one we’re mainly in.” “I like it because we kind of start it,” Zoey adds, “I like that I’m the first one to talk!”

Our fairies have been enjoying rehearsing playing games at camp. “I like [playing] Wax Museum a lot,” says Isabel. “Yeah, that one is fun!” says Anna.

The Dragon (played by Simone) is highly misunderstood in  A Dragon in the Mix!   Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

The Dragon (played by Simone) is highly misunderstood in A Dragon in the Mix!

Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

When asked if there were any people they would like to offer a shout out or appreciation to, each camper had a different answer. “My mom, and my dad, and my dog, and Steve [Roe],” says Isabel. “One of my best friends, who I actually met at camp a couple years ago,” says Anna. “My teacher!” says Ella. “My mom and dad,” says Zoey.

The Princes:

Prince Arthur (played by Kevin), Reginald (played by Tyler), and Leopold (played by Colin) are somewhat different from the gallant knights you may find in other fairy tale stories!

Our princely actors have been enjoying their roles thus far. “We do a lot of silly stuff, so that’s kind of fun,” says Kevin. “I like that we [the princes] are always fighting in our scene,” says Tyler. “I like that I’m the craziest one, probably,” says Colin.

When the princes were asked what their favorite thing to do at camp is, Tyler quickly responds, “Rehearse!” Kevin says, “Yeah, rehearse! That’s what we came here to do.” “Probably play[ing] games,” adds Colin.

Scene Three is the part of the play that each of these actors is most looking forward to sharing with an audience. “We all just goof off and yell at each other,” says Kevin. “That’s what I was going to say,” agrees Tyler. “You can see our most definitive character traits, and I really like that,” continues Kevin. Colin nods.

Each of our princes also has a special person to offer a thank you and shout out to. “My voice lessons teacher, Ms. Kehoe!” says Tyler. “Steve [Roe]; he helped me with voice coaching,” says Kevin. “My dad,” says Colin.

The Dragon:

The title character of A Dragon in the Mix is a highly misunderstood Dragon, played by Simone.

Simone’s favorite thing about playing the Dragon is the character’s quick changes in emotion and expression. “It’s just how many emotions come,” she says. “It’s just also -- one of my favorite parts is when I just [casually] be like “No,” and then a few seconds later after awkward silence I just start crying vigorously.”

Simone is really looking forward to sharing this show with an audience. “I’m looking forward to performing all of [the scenes] because I think the audience is gonna love me in general!” she says.

Though passionate about acting and rehearsing, the social aspects of camp have been very meaningful to Simone. “I like to make new friends, and I do like to perform my part and, like, the play, which is basically why I’m here,” she says. “But I will say [my favorite part of camp is] friends that I feel I don’t want to lose and don’t want to have to wait a whole entire other summer to see then again.”

Simone would like to offer a shout-out to someone who helped her on her acting journey. “To my best friend Adara who gave me confidence to do my audition,” she says, “because I was scared that you [the people holding auditions] were going to be strict or, like, a ruler.”

——

Keep an eye on this space to learn more about the rest of our A Dragon in the Mix cast, and don’t miss their final camp performance this Friday, July 19th, at 7pm at the Fountain Performing Arts Centre at KES!

QAAW Summer Blog: Day One Accomplishments!

Camp leader Morgandy guiding campers through a read through of the script.  Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

Camp leader Morgandy guiding campers through a read through of the script.

Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

What an amazing first day of camp!

The campers in our first Drama Camp of the summer had a very busy first day of camp today; after a morning full of getting to know one another, becoming familiar with their scripts, and making some prop pieces for the production, they have already began to learn their blocking and lines for several scenes, not to mention all the words to both our camp song and camp chant! I cannot wait to see what they get up to tomorrow; their memories are truly amazing.

Hard at work crafting some crown props!  Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

Hard at work crafting some crown props!

Photo credit: Ally Loiselle

I have been assisting with QAAW’s summer camps for many years, and it never ceases to amaze me how dedicated to rehearsing our young actors are; there were several times today that campers sought me out while we were taking a break from rehearsing by playing a game of making a craft, only to request that we return to rehearsing! They truly want to learn and perfect their pieces as best as they can within our short time frame. I feel so inspired by them!

Of course, this does drive to learn and practice not mean that our day was without some hilarious and memorable moments. We played a fun round of the camp game “Graveyard” today, where the goal is to make people laugh, and some truly hilarious comments came out of our campers’ mouths. One character in the script has also casually been nicknamed “Potato” due to a slip of the tongue during an initial read of the script, which led to a running joke and several laughs throughout the afternoon. I’m sure tomorrow will only provide more hilarity!

We still have four more days to prepare for our camp production of A Dragon in the Mix; I will do my best to keep you updated here along the way!

Camp isn’t the only thing currently happening at QAAW, however! Dracula rehearsals are well underway, and every rehearsal is more impressive than the last. Our weekly Pub Trivia at the Spitfire Arms also continues, happening every Tuesday at 7pm. Finally, in exciting news, QAAW will be taking place in the Halifax Pride Parade for the first time ever in just a few days! Keep an eye on our social media accounts for more news on this in the coming days.

That’s all for now! I’ll be back soon with another camp update.

Take care!

Ally

QAAW Summer Blog: Social Media and Getting Out in the Community

Image from rawpixel.com

Image from rawpixel.com

Hey!

Elle here! I have been very busy lately, like my fellow summer students! They have been preparing for the summer camps non-stop, while I host trivia weekly and have been attending the farmer’s market in Windsor on Sunday’s on behalf of Quick As A Wink! As well, you may have noticed a sharp increase in the rate of posting on Facebook, and a bit of a revamp to our Instagram page. I have been tasked with maintaining these two, and as a young millennial, the job comes somewhat naturally. Social media is an effective way of promoting and broadcasting messages, which is why we use it to also highlight our lovely community partners. I have also begun developing our plan to gain more community partners this year to help us do what we do, both on and off stage.

Dracula rehearsals have been going well, and I have been attending them all to video the progress of the actors. Soon, I will get the privilege of interviewing all of the actors so that the community can gain insight on who the cast is!

That’s all for now,

Elle

QAAW Summer Blog: Camp is Around the Corner

Image from rawpixel.com

Image from rawpixel.com

Hello!

This week has been all about getting everything ready for camps! Tuesday  night and Wednesday night, Ally and I had the pleasure of seeing many of the kids that will be attending camps this summer. We definitely had our work cut out for  us when we did casting on Thursday. It was very hard to place people because everyone was so good! The most important thing we made sure of is that everyone was given a role that we thought would make them feel the most comfortable and, even more importantly, one they would have fun playing. 

I am so excited for camps to start next week and see all the lovely faces I met  at auditions! We have lots of crafts, games and of course rehearsing planned for the next few weeks. We know all the shows that these talented young people put on  will be amazing!    

- Morgandy

QAAW Summer Blog: Amazing Auditions!

Myself and Morgandy cheesin’ at the audition table.  Photo Credit: Kayleigh Alexander

Myself and Morgandy cheesin’ at the audition table.

Photo Credit: Kayleigh Alexander

Happy Thursday, everyone!

It has been a very busy week here at Quick As A Wink! As you all know, summer camps are just around the corner, and we have been working hard to ensure we have lots of great activities planned for when our campers arrive. Besides learning about acting, we also play many games, make crafts (often props that then get used in our camp performances!), and sing our camp song, so our campers have a lot to look forward to!

On Tuesday and Wednesday evening this week, we held our auditions for summer camp role placement. All our campers get a role in their camp performance, but we hold auditions so that these young aspiring performers can experience the audition process, meet the camp leaders before the first day of camp, and be placed in a role that will feel comfortable but offer them the opportunity to learn. Morgandy and I – along with the presence of Mike Butler (who I have been referring to as our auditions expert) and our awesome Junior Leader Kayleigh for some of the auditions – met so many brave and talented youth. Many of our campers had never auditioned for anything before and were very nervous when coming in, but they overcame their fears, were brave, and showed amazing talent and perseverance once they began to feel more comfortable. It was truly inspiring to see. I know we are going to have extremely talented casts in all of our camp productions this year, and I cannot wait for you all to see the vast amount of young talent we have here in our community!

Before this week is through, Morgandy and I will have finished our Drama Camp preparations, have cast both of our Drama Camp productions, and be excited and ready for camps to begin on Monday. We are going to have such a great time!

In other Quick As A Wink news, I attended my first Dracula rehearsal over the weekend, and let me tell you, this show is going to be incredible. We have a fantastic and encouraging production team and crew with a clear vision for this show, not to mention a fabulous cast of talented performers who have already blown me away. It’s going to be a scary show, perfect for the month of October. I can’t wait for you to see it!

I must stop writing for now – I have a few little tasks to complete before I feel 100% ready for camp! – but I will be sure to write again soon to let you know all about the fun we are having at our summer camps.

Take care, and talk soon!

Ally

QAAW Summer Blog: Employability and Making Camp Plans

Image from rawpixel.com

Image from rawpixel.com

Hello!

This past Wednesday and Thursday, Elle and I were in the city at an employability workshop for students that is part of a two day pilot project. We learned all about the ten ‘soft’ skills that employers look for but that they won’t teach you. Elle mentioned them in her update, so definitely check it out if you haven’t seen it!

The workshop was a really great opportunity to learn more about how to better yourself as an employee, and it focuses on teaching post-secondary students about how to apply these skills in their workplace. From simple ice breakers to an intense game of Jenga, we did many fun activities to strengthen these skills and to better understand them. Elle and I also made a couple new friends named Sophie and Jacuzzi. Both of them are dogs with jobs! Sophie is a therapy dog who hangs around the work space to help anyone with high anxiety or to just help her fellow human coworkers de-stress and put a smile on their face. Jacuzzi is a guide dog who helps her human navigate their way around. Apparently Jacuzzi has only ever barked twice at the office and she spent most of her time in the workshop room looking for human food that she isn’t allowed to have. Both were very sweet girls and are doing very important work, and as Elle and I are both huge dog lovers, I had to mention them.

Besides attending this awesome workshop, I have been getting ready for camps! I’m making a list with Ally of all the things we’ll need get to make our camp crafts. I am also getting ready to have our auditions for camps next week, and I am so excited to meet all of those that didn't make it to the Audition Workshop with Mike Butler last Tuesday.

Happy Summer!

Morgandy

QAAW Summer Blog: An Update from Elle

canadadayparade.jpg

Hello!

Monday, we had the opportunity to participate in the Hantsport Canada Day Parade. It was damp, but our spirits were bright, and we had a wonderful time. Check out our costumes!

Tuesday we were fortunate to have Mike Butler host an audition workshop for us for our young actors. Mike was so enthusiastic, and the kids amplified his energy! I also hosted trivia, which takes place at the Spitfire Pub in Windsor starting at 7 pm. I’m starting to get the hang of it! 

Today, Morgandy and I are headed off to the city for a two-day pilot project! The project looks at how providing students with an interactive introduction to a set of skills can impact their career success. Research has shown that employers are looking for new employees to be accomplished in ten key areas:

  • ACCOUNTABILITY

  • ADAPTABILITY

  • ATTITUDE

  • CONFIDENCE

  • MOTIVATION

  • PRESENTATION

  • PROBLEM-SOLVING

  • STRESS MANAGEMENT

  • TEAMWORK

  • TIME MANAGEMENT

Through interactive activities and discussion, the project reviews these ten key areas and provides students with tools they can apply within the workplace to further their success. I am so grateful I have been given the opportunity to become a better employee, while I’m working!

As well, this evening at 7 pm, you will see the very first post (on our Facebook and Instagram) for Drac Facts! I have been working with David Myles, one of the directors for our upcoming production of Dracula to give you a sneak peek into the history behind the literary masterpiece and legend that Dracula has become! Each Wednesday, you will get another Drac Fact that will give you more understanding of how our actors are learning, respecting, and appreciating the script.

Sunday you will see me at the Avon Community Farmer’s Market from 10 am - 2 pm. Feel free to stop by and try on a costume, take a picture, and be featured on our social media!

Until next time,

Elle