Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 13, 2002
Pope John Paul revered by actor
Stony Plain school Crusader play honours namesake
By RENATO GANDIA
"We have a purpose, a goal besides the everyday teaching."
- Cory Kulak-Berndt
The project started as an after school activity. They started rehearsing two days a week after class, but then they had to rehearse during lunchtime. Different groups came on different days.
With the change of after-school activities climate in the province, it was fortunate the school was just beginning a musical theatre option in class for the students.
The play became an option for the students, allowing the production team to make changes with their timetable.
O'Callaghan agreed the production is more of a Junior High type of play. "Looking back now, these guys are all 10-11 years old. But they displayed their talents really well. What they were able to do, to me was just amazing."
The biggest challenge for the production is the number of participants. In total they had 74 students on stage while seven students helped back stage, plus 20 more students and staff helping in different capacities.
Christine Vissia was one of the school staff who helped in the production. "Donncha is definitely a man of vision."
Vissia, who did the costumes together with volunteer parents, learned so much with this production, she is prepared to tackle another project like this.
"It was great. It became a community thing - everyone pulling together.
Teacher Cory Kulak-Berndt vowed she would do it again if given the chance. "But I probably will start a lot earlier."
For her, doing co-curricular activities allows everyone to get to know each other better. "You get to know them – students and teachers — on a different level. We come together in a different way. We have a purpose, a goal besides the everyday teaching. You see how much the students enjoyed what they were doing."
Overcome by the sadness that the play was over Kulak-Berndt didn't know what to feel. "It was a mix of emotions."
Josh Coyne, 10, was in two plays before. "But those were not as near as good as this one. This is a whole big production."
When rehearsal started Josh was not sure if the production was going to work or not. "But then once it started getting to a point that everything is coming together it started to really look like a good play. "We couldn't have done it without our director and all the staff, who did wonderful jobs from the music to other technical support."
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