“Wilde Tales – The Selfish Giant: Beyond First Impressions”
Eleanor Drury Children's Theatre March 31st to April 2nd at Magnus Theatre
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~~ March 13, 2022 (LSNews) Eleanor Drury Children’s Theatre is excited to present another locally wrien and unique tale for children by children. Two years in the making, ‘Wilde Tales’ is an original adaptationon of Oscar Wilde’s stories “The Happy Prince and Other Tales”. Wrien in 1888, each of the original stories carries a message about unfairness in society and the power of love. Production Manager Sue Paskoski expressed her support for the themes of the play, “With the challenges of today, this is the perfect me for a production that shows how selflessness can prevail over selfishness.”
Thunder Bay, ON – Eleanor Drury Children’s Theatre is excited to present another locally written and unique tale for children by children. Two years in the making, ‘Wilde Tales’ is an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s stories “The Happy Prince and Other Tales”. Written in 1888, each of the original stories carries a message about unfairness in society and the power of love. Production Manager Sue Paskoski expressed her support for the themes of the play, “With the challenges of today, this is the perfect time for a production that shows how selﬂessness can prevail over selﬁshness.”
EDCT started to develop the idea for a production involving The Selﬁsh Giant in 2020, just at the start of the pandemic. After working with cast members to develop the script, the production was put on hold as health restrictions became more stringent. In 2020/2021 attention shifted to a virtual program and the creation of the production ﬁlm “On the Great Wind’s Back”. In 2021, with the arrival of the vaccines, they had renewed hope and started to work towards staging the Wilde Tales performance. The past year has not been without its struggles but the hard work of the EDCT production crew, cast of young performers, parents and volunteers has paid oﬀ and they are excited to be performing on the Magnus stage this year.
The production comes with some exciting new twists for the audience. In the Giant’s Garden the winter lays claim and the seasons do not change after the Giant selﬁshly drives the children playing there away. Four friends discover the garden and create stories with their imaginations. One by one the seasons return after each tale is told. In the end the Giant and the garden ﬁnd peace in the joy and discovery brought by the four friends. Director Aleksa Shermack let us know that the audience will be called on by the actors to help to change the seasons using snowﬂakes, birds, ﬂowers and leaves that they have created themselves or will be provided. A number of these items are being created already in Theatre, Design and Creativity Workshops, led by local artist Julia Tribe, with the EDCT crew, members of the Boys and Girls Club and with students from local schools. In these workshops the participants explore the building of a tree, with nature elements and animation. Some of the items from these workshops will be displayed in the lobby at the performances. EDCT Board member Susan Kaszuba told us that, “We were looking for ways to enhance the experience for children and youth so we included artist led workshops in our production plans and then took the opportunity to also create a role for the audience in the play.”
EDCT is grateful that the Ontario Arts Council recognized the impact that the Wilde Tales production would have on the artists and youth in our community. With their support, EDCT has been able to expand their ability to engage a production team to work with the cast as well as additional local artists to add more creative elements. These elements include the poster image by Nate Cross, the arts project by Julia Tribe, costume design by Jackie Bygate and other artist lead workshops for the cast.
EDCT’s volunteer fundraising committee has been very busy and local support has been tremendous this year. WIth a show of support for children and artists in our community a number of businesses and individuals have provided sponsorships. These funds have helped with the additional production costs created by the pandemic restrictions and have enabled EDCT to bring the show to the Magnus stage. A number of sponsors have come forward speciﬁcally this year to provide tickets for classes of students to attend the performances. This combined with EDCT’s Take a Child to Theatre campaign has supported their goal of keeping performances aﬀordable and accessible.
The Eleanor Drury Children's Theatre (EDCT) is a charitable organization based in Thunder Bay, Ontario on the northwest shore of Lake Superior. Since 1982, EDCT has produced 38 productions and has provided over 1000 young actors, aged 6-18 years, opportunities to experience the magic and joy of live theatre and connect with themselves under the direction of local artists. The organization is run by a volunteer board of directors who, with the support of volunteers and through fundraising, work to create an inclusive and enriching experience for participants and the audience and an annual production that connects to the community.
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