Submitted by Chiara Bagnoli –
This year’s mainstage play at Nepean High School is Strings of Magic, an original play written and directed by Elizabeth Baxter, Jay Burns, and Audrey Lee, who are three Nepean High School seniors in the drama program.
It’s a story that is sure to entertain children of all ages. In a country far, far away, a long, long time ago an evil queen banned all that is fun, especially magic. When the play begins, four children are practicing magic in secret, in spite of the laws forbidding it. By mistake, they turn one of their group into a puppet. To avoid being caught, they need to turn their friend back into a human, so they flee their village and go on a quest to find the Great Sorceress. Rumour has it that she has the strongest powers in the land and they believe that only she can help them. Characters the children meet along the way help them find their strengths, confront the evil Queen, and restore happiness to the land.
Maysaa Alikhan, who plays Elise, the older sister who loses her temper and accidentally turns her little brother into a puppet, explains how children will be able to relate to her character’s experience. “My character doesn’t always make the right decisions but she learns from her mistakes by relying on others for support, whether it be her friends or her family,” says Maysaa. “She learns what is important to her and how you need to make mistakes in order to grow as a person and learn, and I think that this message will resonate with the kids who see this show.”
Preparation for the play began in early February, as the directors worked with NHS’s Theatre Production class to workshop ideas for the play. Using those ideas and their own creative vision, they wrote the script for the play. Jay Burns, one of the directors, explains what he wants children to learn from the show: “I want kids to take away that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s not the fact that they make them that is important, it’s the way that they try to fix them that is,” says Jay. “By setting it in a magical place, it helps the kids explore themes they don’t necessarily see in their movies and TV shows in a fun way!”
There are three performances: one on Tuesday May 7, at the Nepean High School auditorium at 6:30 p.m, and two on Saturday, May 11 at 12:30 and 2:00 p.m. at Dovercourt Recreation Centre. Tickets are $5 at the door for all three shows. Tickets for the Dovercourt shows can be bought at the Dovercourt customer service desk starting May 4. Bring the family! Strings of Magic is appropriate for children aged 4-12.
Chiara Bagnoli is a student at Nepean High School and a producer of Strings of Magic.