Rundle students have a blast on stage

A.D. Rundle drama students will perform Blast Neutron, a funny, futuristic, good vs. evil tale April 19 to 21 at the middle school.

A.D. Rundle drama students incl. Stephanie Cornish (front)

A.D. Rundle drama students incl. Stephanie Cornish (front)

The year is 2367.

Blast Neutron and his group of Galactic Rangers patrol the galaxy, keeping the Intergalactic Republic safe from evil.

That is, until the evil Drustella wins the Intergalactic elections and enslaves all living species, with the help of Dr. Fudd and his army of automoton robots. Blast and his gang have been exiled to the far away planet of Valium 6.

Who will stop the evil empress? Will Blast escape in time to save the day?

Let the students at A.D. Rundle School tell the tale.

‘Blast Neutron’ is a local story, written by G.W. Graham’s Shane Croucher with music from Mt. Slesse’s Gareth Clarke.

“I think it’s a theme that will always have a place in society,” A.D. Rundle theatre director Maria Dimas pointed out. This battle between good and evil has plenty of present-day parallels in politics and pop culture and it’s jam-packed with unique and hilarious characters.

“They’re all so wonderful in their own weird ways,” Dimas enthused.

When Hannah Thomas, playing the leader of Drustella’s Amazon warriors, first read the script, “I thought it was really, really weird. And that it would be really fun to perform,” she laughed.

They’re currently in the midst of rehearsing epic battles, musical numbers and choreography, and out-of-this world drama, gearing up for the big performances next week.

Student Stephanie Cornish has found ways to connect to her evil character, Drustella the heartless bureaucrat.

“She’s very dramatic and loud. And I’m like that in real life,” Stephanie laughed. “I’m not that mean, though.”

“I don’t like to boss people around… often,” she smiled, after a run-through of Drustella’s theme song ‘Control.’ “But I am a leader, as is she.”

Seeking world-domination, this evil empress has a dedicated team of followers to do her bidding, including love-struck scientist Dr. Fudd played by Bryce Richardson, and P.O.O.P., the human-hating robot played by Caleb Plett. Caleb’s been channeling notorious sociopaths to inspire his cold, deadpan performance.

Fighting against evil, the goodness in the galaxy is lead by Tyler Kohl playing leading man Blast Neutron himself.

Alongside Dr. Fuzzybritches (Lexie Behrendt), Dash the robot (Jenna Boucher) and Riggs (Alexus Heward), this team bravely takes on the viscous army of space pirates and wild villains.

The 28 students in the drama program at A.D. Rundle have been rehearsing during class-time and after school, week after week since roles were cast in January.

Learning how to operate as the cast and the crew, developing and perfecting choreography for six numbers, and memorizing a full script’s worth of lines is no easy task for these young middle schoolers, but they’re up to the challenge – and loving every minute of it.

“Shane creates such rich, fun characters to play,” Maria said.

“It’s over-the-top, melodramatic… it’s ridiculous,” Bryce added. “The script is great.”

Some of the students are excitedly returning after their first production last year, others have been acting since childhood, more still are stepping into the spotlight for the first time.

For every hurdle that these drama-inclined students face, they’re building valuable skills that they’ll carry with them through theatre pursuits in secondary school programs and beyond.

For Hannah, it’s singing loudly and confidently, while remaining in character.

For Caleb, it’s harnessing the anger necessary to portray a psychotic robot who’s primary goal is to terminate all life forms.

For Stephanie, it’s leaping from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other in a snap.

And Bryce’s area of focus is genuinely referring to his co-star as “Puddin’ cakes” without cracking up.

“It’s a really hysterical, cheesy space pirate musical,” Hannah remarked. “You just have to watch it.”

And with an expert combination of highbrow and lowbrow jokes, this story has humour and appeal for all audiences.

The show runs on April 19, 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. in the A.D. Rundle drama room (45660 Hocking Ave). Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and children.


Just Posted

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
Student’s quote in Chilliwack high school yearbook equates graduation with end of slavery

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Police say Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months

RCMP seek dash-cam footage after Chilliwack road rage incident

Male driving a black pickup stopped and allegedly threatened to punch another driver

Doses prepared at pop-up vaccine clinic in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood, in the M3N postal code, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. ( THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston)
4 vaccine clinics coming to Neighbourhood Learning Centre

Fraser Health made clinics ‘low-barrier’ meaning pre-registration not required

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Most Read