Since spring break students in the senior theatre class at David Thompson Secondary School have been spending their free time memorizing lines, researching the 1960s, and rehearsing during their free blocks at school to put together their production Spy School.
The play is set in 1961 where Jane Doe played by Grade 12 student Melissa Weber is drafted by the CIA to infiltrate a high school and locate a Russian spy.
Jane Doe, she’s an ordinary teenage girl. But she is, as it says in the play, destined for extraordinary things. She just really wants to be a secret agent. That’s her goal so she’s pretty excited about the whole thing (being recruited by the CIA), said Melissa.
Melissa is onstage for the entire play, getting to take a quick water break once during the production, but told The Pioneer it’s been relatively easy for her to learn her lines and that a key part of her role has been to learn to rely on her classmates.
I’m on stage most of the time and rely on all the actors in the play, because I interact with all the actors in this play. So (its important) knowing that theyre there and that everyone is knows what they’re supposed to be doing, said Melissa.
The class of 27 students and one outside student all have integral roles in the production. Grade 10 student Emily Clark and Grade 12 student Sierra Nichols roles are behind the scenes but have challenged both students.
Emily is in charge of costumes and said it’s been difficult to find costumes that fit everybody, adding that when you get everything together it’s such a relief because you got it done. Sierra is responsible for all the sound in the play, which was confusing in the beginning while she was learning the sound equipment, but she feels she has a handle on it for the big night.
Now I’ve got the whole system down it’s really great. It was definitely a learning experience it was a little stressful in the beginning, now it’s great, said Sierra.
For their teacher Mrs. Shelley Little, this is the largest production she’s put on, with a lot of Grade 10 students in the class. Mrs. Little said the biggest challenge has been getting everything coordinated.
These are kids, some as young as Grade 10, and for a lot of them it’s their first time onstage. Theyre nervous, but what I’ve seen in the past is the nerves turn into everything getting funnier and louder on the night and it just makes me so proud to see how far they’ve come, said Mrs. Little.
Opening night for the production is Friday, June 2nd at 7 p.m. with another show on Saturday, June 3rd. Tickets for the play are on sale at DTSS or at Blue Dog cafe $10 for adults and $5 for students. The class will also be selling cupcakes, lemonade, coffee, tea during intermission.