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Innisfail youth invited to create ‘Play in a Day’

Innisfail Town Theatre and Family Resource Network partner to host youth theatre workshop
Carson Rafuse, family facilitator summer student for McMan Central's Family Resource Network, at the entrance of Innisfail’s Ol' Moose Hall where he will be facilitating the Play in a Day workshop on Aug. 19 for young Innisfail and area live theatre enthusiasts. Submitted photo

INNISFAIL – This week is time for local youth to ‘Play in a Day’ and experience the glorious opportunity to be on a stage to see, hear and feel what it’s like to be a part of a live theatre performance.

Carson Rafuse, family facilitator summer student for the Family Resource Network at Innisfail’s McMan Central office, said he proposed a partnership with Innisfail Town Theatre (ITT) earlier this summer to host a local youth theatre workshop that is called Play in a Day.

“It's kind of exactly what it sounds like. Over the period of one day, which in our case is about five hours, we're going to rehearse and then put on an entire play,” said Rafuse.

The Play in a Day workshop is free for young participants and will be held at the ITT-owned Ol' Moose Hall on Aug. 19. It will run from 2 to 8 p.m.

The event is open to Innisfail and area youths between the ages of 12 and 18. Each participant must register beforehand.

“If you register to come then you get to become an actor. Anybody between 12 and 18 can be an actor in it,” said Rafuse. “And then there is a closed performance at the end. The performance is not open to everybody. It's not going to be public performance this time around.”

But what is most crucial, emphasized Rafuse, is that everybody will have the opportunity to learn the finer points about theatre  production and experience what it's like to do a play in a “short condensed fashion".

“I personally am not talent scouting,” said Rafuse. “I'm here to provide everybody with an opportunity to come and try it out and see if they like it, and maybe make some new friends and maybe find something you're really passionate about.”

Rafuse said the Play in a Day workshop will include a read through of the script; one that he has prepared himself.

“We're going to block all the scenes and run through them a couple times so everybody's a little bit familiar with what they need to do,” said Rafuse, adding the workshop will include theatre games to teach participants the parts of the stage and different ways of delivering lines.

“There will also be a bit of an arts and crafts element when participants can make some props and scenery throughout the day,” he added. “Everybody will get a chance to do some rehearsals and some performing and play games.”

Patrick Gleason, a long-time member of ITT, will be at the workshop on Aug. 19. He will open the doors of Ol' Moose Hall for Rafuse and his young workshop attendees.

Gleason said he’s in full support of the six-hour event and believes it could be the start of something special for the community, especially the young.

“We have been looking for opportunities to start a youth theatre going in Innisfail and we just think this this is a start, a beginning,” said Gleason.

He said ITT has been involved with “big theater productions” with local schools in the past but only during the regular school year.

“This is summer and this is an area we think that we'd like to take a closer look at,” said Gleason. “What I see and what my vision is, is to have some kind of summer theatre happening with young people in this town.

“We've been to towns where they have youth groups. Some of them, like in Nelson B.C., are very sophisticated groups, where kids are rehearsing for a month and put on a fantastic production. I don't know if we'll ever get there but I would like to be able to see when Innisfail has some summer theatre."

For more information on the Play in a Day workshop citizens can call Rafuse directly at 587-679-0544.

Johnnie Bachusky

About the Author: Johnnie Bachusky

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