by Laura L. Drover –
KPI/KPIK (KPI-Kids)

Once again, the children’s wing of Kemptville Players Inc. invites all members of our supportive ‘North Grenville and surrounding communities’ to share in the excitement of our next KPIK show: a double bill entitled MAYHEM AND MYSTERY, showcasing two one-act plays from Drama Notebook: “Mother Duck and the Golden Goose” and “The Mystery of the Missing Medallion”. The shows take place on Saturday and Sunday, January 26 and 27, 2-4 p.m.) At the Urbandale Arts Centre.

Some of you may remember last year’s inaugural KPIK performance of the locally written play “Winter Wonderland”, which was sold out.

PI-Kids held auditions from mid-October to early November for “The Mystery of the Missing Medallion”, an action-filled, comedy adventure about a ‘princess in hiding’ who hires a bumbling inspector to find her stolen ‘royal medallion’ to prove that she is the rightful heir to the throne. In the initial call-out, all children 7 years and older were welcome to try out and, once again, the turnout was incredible! So many kids expressed an interest in learning how to act (20 returning and 18 new ‘actors-in-training’) that, in order to ensure a role for everyone, we had to expand our theatrical production to include an additional 1-act play called “Mother Duck and the Golden Goose”, a fun play about a crazy day in fairy-tale land, where a dozen or so fairy-tale and nursery-rhyme characters get mixed up in each other’s stories (i.e. the mayhem portion of the show). And, of course, we still had to factor in a little time in the upcoming KPIK entertainment program for the return of our very popular ‘other talents’ showcase.

So, after the extended auditions and subsequent casting, rehearsals began and continued throughout the ‘Holly-Daze’. People may not realize all there is for new actors to learn. We challenged the kids to memorize their lines; to learn to speak slowly and clearly while projecting their voices; to remember to face the audience; to work on how to get into and stay in character; to adhere to the rules of stage etiquette; to use facial expressions and body gestures to convey their character; and to continue practicing the various stage blocking cues and use of costumes/props for their roles – even while they were on vacation.

Needless-to-say, mounting any theatrical production is not for the faint of heart! But even more ‘butterflies-in-tummy-inducing’ is preparing two 1-act plays in a tight timeframe! Given the large number of novice actors joining the ever expanding KPIK troupe, and the excitement and engagement of these children and their families, both Mary-Anne Leang and I were immediately and fully committed to exploring the creative process with each and every one of our talented cast/crew members in order to bring this ‘laugh out loud’ show to the stage for your enjoyment.

These kids and youth – “the Great 38” – truly deserve all of your accolades for what they have been able to accomplish together. So, please consider leaving your ‘winter hibernation’ for an afternoon or two of ‘community warmth and giggles’, and join us at our beautiful local theatre to support the hard work and efforts of these 38 aspiring – and inspiring – young thespians as they showcase their many ‘developing talents’ for your entertainment; another KPIK production for kids and everyone who is still ‘young-at-heart’.

Tickets ($10) are available online at www.kemptvilleplayers.ca; at B&H Your Community Grocer (301 Rideau St., Kemptville), or at the door prior to each of the two Matinee performances. The Urbandale Arts Centre (Theatre) doors open each day at 1:30pm. For further information please email: [email protected].

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