The David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS) senior theatre class will be performing The Banana Peel: An Evening of One Act Comedy Plays, which will feature a trifecta of productions from Grade 10, 11 and 12 students on both Friday, January 15th and again on Saturday, January 16th at 7 p.m.
There are three different types of comedy being performed in three one-act comedies, so hopefully we can offer the community some laughs in January when theres not very much to do in town, said Shelley Little, English and Drama teacher at DTSS. We wanted to end the semester with some comedy after completing Dracula (last year), which was a big success, but it was a lot of work and it was very serious and atmospheric with a lot of costumes and props, so this is perfect.
Matty Helmer, a Grade 12 DTSS student, has written and directed a one-act comedy show entitled This Page Has Been Intentionally Left Blank that features 11 of his peers. It will be the first, and longest, of all three plays. The 17-year-olds first leap into the directors seat will be the first of three one-act comedies performed at the DTSS theatre.
To be completely honest, I didnt know what to call (my screenplay) and I had a pretty blank mind so I thought that the title sounded pretty good, said Mr. Helmer. Ms. Little offered me a chance to write and direct a play and I thought that was a great idea so I jumped on it and here we are today.
He estimates writing the short comedy took a mere weekend to complete.
I kind of pulled a John Hughes and did it over the weekend, said Mr. Helmer. Basically, its about one struggling playwright and his obnoxious roommate trying to write a play for school.
However, Ms. Little was then tasked with finding a way to include the entire class in the project.
His show wasnt big enough for the whole class, so we also found two other short one acts so that everybody had something to do, she said.
Students will also be performing in the comedies Cousins? by Jim Jarmusch featuring Japhy Hunt and Justin Larson, as well as The Mouse and the Raven by Tim Kelly, which will feature five female students.
A banana motif will be present throughout the evening in each act, added Ms. Little, and it will even be on the menu as the chef training class taught by Andrea Salzbrenner will be serving $5 desserts during the intermission.
Weve always talked about doing dinner theatre so eventually thats the goal, but this time were going to be doing desserts, said Ms. Little.
Ms. Little believes that Mr. Helmer, her first student to direct a show at the school, has a unique voice that will be appreciated by others in the Columbia Valley.
I really felt that Matty was ready for the next challenge, she explained. Hes a very professional and reliable actor he always knows his lines right away so hes really taken (acting) as far as I can show him what to do so I want to give him a new challenge.
Ms. Little is eager to see the final result.
I think it will be neat for Matty to sit in the audience and see how the blank screen he started with can come to life with a live audience, she explained.
Mr. Helmer has voiced a strong desire to pursue further education at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver with a focus on film-making and music after graduating from DTSS.
To purchase tickets in advance, please visit the Blue Dog Cafe or DTSS. There will be an $8 admission fee for adults and $3 admission fee for students to attend.