David Thompson Secondary Students (DTSS) theatre students are eager to perform an interactive improvisational theatre show to raise money for eight students to travel to Summerland this May for the Good Will Shakespeare Festival.

The improv performance will feature a mixture of Grade 9, 10, 11 and 12 students starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 6th at the DTSS Theatre.

We have a number of very funny actors who regularly play theatre sports or improv games similar to what youd see on a show like Whose Line Is It Anyway and we decided to show them to the public, said Shelley Little, DTSS drama teacher, noting theres a club of theatre students who practice improv informally outside of drama class every Tuesday this semester. Its sure to be a very entertaining evening, with lots of interaction with the audience the club is pretty talented and pretty funny, so Im hoping to get a lot of people out.

The Good Will Shakespeare Festival in Summerland creates a unique platform for thespians to participate in three days of drama workshops offered by university students and theatre professionals from across B.C. In addition to the three days of workshops, there will be two days of travelling for the DTSS students.

Its a five-day trip for our class, so its only the kids who are really interested in attending the festival who are attending because they have to be away from school for three days and go all the way to Summerland, said Ms. Little, noting the program costs roughly $350 per student. Were actually taking the Greyhound all the way from Golden to Summerland.

Each participating school will be performing a short program that is Shakespeare-related at the Good Will Shakespeare Festival. Ms. Littles class has been busily rehearsing a show called Shakeshpeare Shtew, which was written by Matty Helmer, a Grade 12 DTSS student, to perform at the festival.

He wrote a 20-minute piece about characters from Romeo and Juliet, the Merchant of Venice, and Macbeth all meeting, explained Ms. Little. Its pretty funny. Were performing that one night and well get to see what other students are doing.

The confidence that some students gain from participating in arts and entertainment workshops can be monumental for personal development and growth, she added.

Some of these kids are not generally on sports teams or travelling for hockey and other activities, so for some of them, its their first time leaving the valley and I didnt want to make it prohibitively expensive or I wouldve lost some of them, said Ms. Little.

She added the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) has raised and donated roughly $50 per student and plans to subsidize roughly $1,000 out of the DTSS drama account. Ms. Little is hoping to raise enough money to salvage some of her departments expenses as well as to raise money to help students cover the cost of spending money for meals over the five-day long trip.

If its good and popular, Im going to try to make it a bigger deal next year, she said, adding this would be her first year attending the festival with students. A lot of it is based on Shakespeare in costumes, workshopping some of his plays, dance, rap, mime its a variety of things.

For more information, visit www.goodwillshakespeare.ca/.