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Gorsebrook Junior High presents Dear Edwina Jr.

Tonight and tomorrow night, Gorsebrook Junior High School in Halifax presents the madcap comedy Dear Edwina Jr. Recently we spoke with teacher Jane Scott about the production.

What are your roles and responsibilities at the school?
JS: I teach Science, Technology Education and English.

Why the decision to put this production together?
JS: Six years ago when I came to Gorsebrook and asked students what they wanted that they did not have, they said a drama club. So many kids came out that year and we decided to do a musical. This will be our 5th musical, and each year we have found there is interest in the project, and always lots of talent in our school.

What are the challenges involved?
JS: Unlike a high school we do not offer courses such as dance or drama during class time, so everything is done at lunches or afterschool. Our students are very busy with many afterschool activities as well, so we started this show the last week of November and have been rehearsing most days at lunch since then. We have an extremely supportive PTA, and our parent community has offered a lot of help this year. The costs associated with the show are also always a challenge, but again, our PTA has been amazing in supporting the show and doing a great deal of fundraising on behalf of the school.

What are the rewards?
JS: A cast becomes very close working on such a large project for so long, and the friendships we see formed are strong and positive. Also, students really develop personally and their confidence grows. Sometimes alumnae students who were in a past show come back to see our current one and that is also really meaningful. The effects are far reaching and long-lasting.

How does it fit with the school's mandate of learning?  
JS: This show offers an enrichment opportunity that any student can participate in and learn from. From lighting and sound, to sets, makeup, and stage managing, there is something for everyone.

Are the kids enjoying it?
JS: Yes- they sometimes sing or dance in the halls!  Last week a cast member asked at the end of rehearsal,"Can we just sing one more song"? …Amazing after 3 months of singing the same ones.

Are any of them expressing an interest in pursuing acting as a career?
JS: In the past we have had students go on to do Neptune theatre camps and shows, so I think some will consider it, or go on to be involved in community theatre groups as a hobby or even as a volunteer. I think they will each support and appreciate the Arts in their own way in the future.

Who attends the event?
JS: Parents, friends, community members, past students, everyone we can tell about it!

What can they expect at the show?
JS: This show, Dear Edwina Jr., is a fast-moving and comedy-filled show-within-a-show that anyone would enjoy seeing. It is a great show to bring children to, and the music is extremely catchy.

Where are tickets available?
JS: At the door of Gorsebrook Junior High School at6:45pm on Tuesday, February 25th and also on Wednesday, February 26th, and it is pay-what-you-can! Please come!

What's next on the school's creative agenda?
JS: We just had a Poetry Reading Competition within the school, and our robotics team is heading to Provincials this weekend.   In the spring we have a Showcase of Learning, where Grade 9 students share projects from a variety of subjects, and also form a choir to sing. Gorsebrook Junior High has so many clubs and activities and sports running in all seasons, that it is hard to keep up with all that is happening here! It is an exciting school to be a part of.

Dear Edwina Jr.
February 25, 26, 7pm
Gorsebrook High School, Halifax
www.gjhs.ednet.ns.ca

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