Over seven days, the Class Acts Drama School of Sydney will be showcasing the theatre skills of its students in twenty-one productions on the stage of the Boardmore Playhouse at Cape Breton University.
And though the performers, actors, writers, and directors range in age from five to eighteen years old, Erin Gillis, an instructor at CADS and one of the festival organizers, says “Definitely don’t undervalue what these students are doing onstage–it is good theatre”.
And with a few exceptions, almost all of the shows are original scripts created by current or former students.
“CADSfest 2011” opens on Monday, April 11, with four productions (including three musical shows) featuring performers from all age levels of the school’s students, a format that continues for the three following evenings. All evening shows are at 7 pm.
“It’s important to have this mix of ages,” Gillis says, “The little kids get to see where they are headed and the high school age kids get to see five year olds are doing it too.”
The shows on the evenings of Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16, are billed as “PG-13” nights when the older students tackle plays with more mature themes, content, and language.
The festival concludes on Sunday, April 17, at 3 pm with theatre games, awards, and a pizza party for the participants.
While Gillis admits the majority of the audience is made mostly of family and friends of the CADS students, she also notes that in recent years, she has seen more and more of the general public take an interest in the festival.
“It’s great for the students to have people in the public see their shows,” she says, “It is great for building their confidence to get that appreciation and return that energy back to the audience. It’s a valuable experience for everyone, so it’s win win win.”
For the full schedule for CADSfest 2011, visit: classactsdrama.com