Creating Brigadoon Memories
By: Angela K., Grade 11, Garden Valley Collegiate, Winkler, MB
"Brigadoon, Brigadoon, blooming under sable skies.
Brigadoon, Brigadoon, there my heart forever lies.
Let the world grow cold around us, let the heavens cry above!
Brigadoon, Brigadoon, in they valley there'll be love!".
The recent production of the musical “Brigadoon” at Garden Valley Collegiate in Winkler offered students more than just an opportunity to practice singing and acting talents. It was a chance to build new friendships and work as a group with people they may not have otherwise, creating a village of their own.
Musicals are a group effort and the success of the production depends on every member.
“Brigadoon” was no exception. The ten auditioned students with major cast roles had to cooperate to get through rehearsals and put on the best show possible.
The leading female role of Fiona was played by Lenore Friesen. Fiona, at 22 years old, lives in the magical Scottish village of Brigadoon. The village only exists one day of the year. Fiona, although very pleasant, bright, and gentle, is a very straightforward, direct woman. Fiona knows what she wants, and when American hunter, Tommy stumbles into Brigadoon, Fiona is sure in her love for him.
However, Tommy, the leading role played by Joel Nickel, cannot be as confident. He has another life back in America, with family and a fiance. Is his love for Fiona strong enough to give up his whole life? On top of this, Tommy can only see Fiona for one day out of the year. At sunset Fiona will vanish with the rest of the village.
"Oh, Tommy! 'Tis the end of our day!"
"I'm sorry, Fiona. To stay I had to have no fears and no doubts. And...well.... "
The outcome was revealed with the GVC performances of “Brigadoon” on November 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Another character adding to the musical is Jeff, another American hunter, who discovers Brigadoon with Tommy. Jeff was played by Corey Hilderbrand.
Megan Reimer played Jean, Fiona's sister. Tamara Kroeker brought alive the character of Meg, while Ryan Shroeder played the role of Charlie. Harry's character was portrayed by Curt Penner. Lesley Friesen, Lenore's brother in real life, became Andrew McClarin, Fiona's father in the play. Charles Koop created the character of Mr. Lundry.
These ten cast members became Lenore's new family in the intense weeks leading up to the production. The group started rehearsing everyday after school from four to six o'clock after auditions at the beginning of September.
With the performances only two weeks away, the cast started rehearsing from four to nine o'clock everyday. Here they put together the individually practiced scenes into acts and eventually into the musical. After spending so much time with the cast members, the leading lady Lenore could still say it was a really fun group to work with. The group had a good time together.
Being the rookies on the GVC musical scene, the Grade 9's tended to stick together, but Lenore said there was a good feeling between everyone in the cast and no one felt left out. She admitted to having gotten to know people better and having discovered what cool people they are.
Lenore confided that at the beginning it was a little tense between some members since there was competition for parts. It was between Megan and Lenore for the leading female role, and between Joel and Ryan for leading male role. But, she says, once auditions were over, cast members got used to their parts and are started to loosen up and become more comfortable.
The best times for the cast were when everyone really got into their characterand had fun with it. "It was really entertaining to watch," Lenore said.
Corey and Curt are really good friends and soon showed themselves to be the comedians of the group. They were the ones to make everyone laugh in any situation.
"We had our fun, but we knew when to get serious," said Lenore. She said the ten cast members were very responsible when it came to getting people to learn their lines. There was no such person as a slacker in this cast because the other members would be right on their case.
With all the time and effort the cast put in, being in the musical was not all fun and games. A lot of hard work goes into making a performance of GVC's high standards. This required a lot of focus and concentration, which could only be accomplished with a cast that was close knit.
Lenore feels all the time and effort she invested was worth the outcome. "It's a good feeling to know that other people are enjoying and appreciating that you are presenting to them."
Lenore has been involved in other musicals since Junior High and has previous experience playing lead roles. She said she does it out of the enjoyment of performing in front of an audience and strengthening her talents as an actor and singer. "Once you're on stage in costume, singing and acting, you get so into it, it feels that you are actually the character you're playing."
The friendships formed during the intense involvement of a GVC musical were a very important outcome and one that cast members will not forget. The ability to work and get along with others in the process of accomplishing a task is an important skill that can be applied anywhere in life.