Sleeping Beauty production takes a classic Disney approach

Matt
Matt Gardner
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Published on February 03, 2014

Cast members from the Rivier Academy Players’ production of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty rehearse on Sunday afternoon. Showtimes are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Rivier Auditorium. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children and are available by calling (306) 764-6289.

Published on February 03, 2014

Cast members from the Rivier Academy Players’ production of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty rehearse on Sunday afternoon. Showtimes are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Rivier Auditorium. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children and are available by calling (306) 764-6289.

Published on February 03, 2014

Cast members from the Rivier Academy Players’ production of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty rehearse on Sunday afternoon. Showtimes are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Rivier Auditorium. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children and are available by calling (306) 764-6289.

Published on February 03, 2014

Cast members from the Rivier Academy Players’ production of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty rehearse on Sunday afternoon. Showtimes are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Rivier Auditorium. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children and are available by calling (306) 764-6289.

At a time when Hollywood seems to be giving every fairy tale the “dark and gritty” treatment, there’s something to be said for a more classical interpretation.

The Rivier Academy Players’ upcoming production of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty fits the bill in that regard, being about as far away from the dark fantasy film Maleficent as one can get.

“The fairy tales they have now, they have to put a wicked twist … Gone are the days when they wanted fairy tales to be fairy tales,” director Jan Cash said. “So this is a really pleasant approach.”

“It’s straight classic Disney,” she added. “No twists and turns -- just Disney.”

A kid-friendly musical extravaganza, the Players’ version of Sleeping Beauty will be unveiled to the public this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Rivier Auditorium.

Having produced a more thematically heavy, adult-oriented play last year, the Players this time around were eager for a production that would appeal to a younger audience.

“We wanted to do something that was light and fun so that we’d encourage the little people, younger grades to come -- and their parents, of course,” Cash said.

The diverse cast includes both children and adults, ranging in age from seven to 60.

Among the younger cast members are students from W.J Berezowsky School, St. Anne Catholic School and Red Wing Public School.

“Rivier has always been a community theatre,” musical director Lauren Campbell noted.

“We start with our own student body … Up until very recently, we were an all-girls school, so we’ve never been able to fill all of the male roles that we need … For years and years, we've looked into the community for adults as well … Now that we have males at our school, actually our Prince Phillip is a Grade 11 student at Rivier.”

We wanted to do something that was light and fun. Jan Cash

Cast members began rehearsing at the end of October.

Initially rehearsals ran twice a week, but the final month before the premiere has seen that number increase to three rehearsals a week.

“It’s a pretty heavy commitment for the kids, but they’ve been very good,” Cash said.

“They’ve committed themselves to do this and their parents also are a great help,” helping with tasks from sewing costumes to face-painting to bringing the crew coffee.

While the play is primarily targeted at children, its producers believe older audiences will also find much to appreciate.

“I’ve got several friends who are coming and they’re all adults, and they love Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and … all the lovely fairy tale stuff,” Cash said.

“I think even a teen and adult audience would enjoy the show … The adult audience can relive their Disney childhood,” Campbell added with a chuckle.

Anyone interested in attending the Friday play would do well to move quickly, as tickets for that show are reported to be nearly gone.

Tickets to Sleeping Beauty cost $10 for adults and $5 for children aged 12 and under, and are available at the door or by calling (306) 764-6289.

Organizations: Rivier Academy Players, W.J Berezowsky School, Anne Catholic School Red Wing Public School

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