It’s with a flourish of festivity and equality that GW Graham Secondary School is presenting its original Christmas musical, Aw Snapped!, featuring members of its grade 7, 8, and 9 classes.
“We wanted something just for the (younger grades),” says Shane Croucher, the school’s fine arts teacher who wrote and directed the play. “Often it’s the older students who get picked for the major roles as they have more experience,” he explains. “So, we thought we’d do a Christmas production just for (12- to 14-year-olds) … because they had nothing just for them.”
Aw Snapped! is about the kidnapping of Santa Claus by his ill-intentioned brother and a group of misfits known as the South Pole Trolls. When Santa’s trusty elves decide to save the day, what unfolds is a delightfully humourous Christmas tale the entire community can enjoy.
It was an idea and story that were well-received by the student body. Auditions were in September, and by opening night, about 60 students will have become a member of the performance as either cast members, crew, or backstage help. “They’re all loving it and having so much fun,” adds Croucher.
Brother and sister duo, Dylan and Mia Beauchamp, agree they’re enjoying the experience, but say they joined the play for more than just having fun. Formerly dancers, the two didn’t feel an affinity for that particular performing art, however, they’ve found the connection they were looking for in drama.
“The dance community was not really connected: they were kind of different,” says Mia, 12, who plays Celine Dion in the play. “I saw the shows Dylan was in, and he was having a lot of fun, so I joined the play and I’m really, really enjoying it.”
Dylan enthusiastically agrees, adding he’s enjoying the experience so much he hopes “to make a career out of it.”
Maddie Brown, 14, enjoys the stage, but also how comforting the theatre has become. “I just feel like it brings me and my friends closer together than we usually are,” she says. “When I’m here, it’s the same feeling as when I’m at home.”
With dancing, singing, and jokes aimed at every generation, Aw Snapped! has something for everybody. “The show’s quite funny, and it’s not a child’s play. It’s a little bit darker, but we do a lot of things that will keep you entertained,” says Dylan, who plays a character modeled after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
With $5 admission and three showings, Aw Snapped! is a comedy the whole family can enjoy. Show time is 7 p.m., Dec. 13 – 15. Tickets can be bought at the GW Graham school office, or at the door.