“I'm usually pretty good 'til the lights go out, and then I start shaking,” says lead actress Kelsey Kissel. Kissel played the role of Meg Wheeler in Glendon School Drama Club's presentation of Ask Any Girl on April 23 and 24.
If Kissel was nervous when interviewed an hour before the show, it did not translate to her performance. The entire cast of 19 entertained the audience with a witty play about a young woman who travels to New York seeking adventure.
Kissel is no stranger to the stage. The Grade 11 student has performed in school dramas for the past five years.
“I think we pulled it together pretty good,” she says. “It's a lot of work for two nights.”
Meg Wheeler's counterpart is Evan Doughton, played by Jeff Werstiuk. Werstiuk agrees putting the play together was a lot of work. An hour before show time he said he felt both nervous and excited about the performance.
He says the best part about preparing for the play was getting to work as a team with the cast “and just doing something new that we usually don't get to do.”
The drama was preceded by a meal prepared by the Glendon Catering Club. The full spread of perogies, chicken, and salads went over well with audience, who ate from candlelit tables. Desert was served between the first and second acts of the play.
Director Darryl Maron says the play was chosen to fit the drama club, which has more female than male members.
“This year we had quite a few more girls than boys interested in doing it so we had to find a play that would suit that.”
Set in the 1940s, the play tells the story of Wheeler finding a job as a secretary for an advertising company. The owner of the company is Miles Doughton, the older brother of Evan. Meg tries to court Evan with the help of Miles' advertising company, but soon finds love in an unexpected place.
“It's been a lot of work,” Maron says. The club practised nearly every day for the two weeks leading up to show time.
Grade 4 teacher Cyndie Kissel helped organize the two nights of dinner theatre and Kim Seward acted as assistant director for the production. Wardrobe was provided by members of the community while Cori Fergus and Lona Kossowan took care of sets and props. Catherine Hepworth along with parents assisted with hair and makeup.
The club started practising in January by reading lines. After basketball season the club moved into the gym to begin rehearsing.
The proceeds from the production go to helping the club buy equipment for future plays.