The cast of 16 amateur players ranging in age from early teens to mid-70s played to 330 patrons who filled the hall with their high-spirited laughter at the antics of the company pulling together a hasty performance of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Besides the cast and crew there were another dozen people managing different aspects of preparation, front of house duties and backstage.
The players did much of their own costume work with assistance from Jaquine Manet-Bobier and Shai Snyder. Shai Snyder and Yako de Arburn coordinated make-up.
Yako de Arburn provided a thematic Victorian backdrop. Stage carpenter was John Hutchinson.
Audiences were treated to pre-show music from the guitar duo of Natasha Wigglesworth and Skye Eriksen.
Busy backstage were Louise Giguere and Sarah Martin and in the kitchen were Lee McFadyen, Shannon Eriksen, Patrick Bouillet, Sally Mennell and Philippa Mennell
Dominique Dupuis, Amanda Elyzen and Jenna Sipponen were the harried trio of writer, director and stage manager steering a rough and tumble gang that cobbles a show together over the space of a few hours.
A pair of young newcomers were Esther Cottrill and Jazmyne Bittner who delighted the audience as the mischievous “Tiny Tims”. Also new to the Cawston Players were Tracey Carson and Melissa Marr who brought their talent and stage experience to the production.
Veteran players, Guy Sasseville, Jaquine Manet-Bobier, Gabriele Cursons, Taina Sipponen, Wilfrid Mennell and John Butcher filled a variety of roles, often involving quick costume changes.
By far, it was Corentin (Coco) Caro-Chambard who stole the show with his impressive “over the top’ portrayal of the stingy Ebenezer Scrooge who was enlightened by visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.
The players had a lot of community help mounting “A Christmas Chaos.”
Similkameen Agencies and Cawston Marketplace handled ticket sales. There were loans of hand and stage props from businesses and individuals.
Robin Ridge and Crowsnest wineries served local vintage. Local and regional media provided supportive coverage.
More than half the proceeds from “A Christmas Chaos” ticket sales circulate back into the community through purchases of building materials, costumes, facilities rental and food. The remainder is applied to future productions.
A Christmas Chaos by Michael Wehrli turned out to be an excellent choice by Director, Bob McAtamney, who co-directed with Amanada Elyzen for this mixed cast of players and for their audience who clearly enjoyed the laughter and fun of a Christmas romp.
The Cawston Players enter their twelfth year in 2013. The players can be contacted at 250-499-5616 or at 250-499-5417.