Pearson students ready to shine during TOPS show
11th annual production takes impressive showcase to new heights
More than 200 students from 13 Lester B. Pearson School Board high schools will shine this weekend during the 11th annual TOPS Performance Education show, Now We’re Here, taking place this Friday and Saturday in Lachine.
Many of the performers, who were featured live this morning on Global Television’s Morning News show, come from schools in Hudson, Saint Lazare and Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, to name a few.
Though many of the teen participants - secondary I to secondary IV students - will sing, dance and play music during the fast paced, impressive extravaganza, a number of others will do equally important work as back stage technicians and crew, in the front office jobs, and more.
As part of its mandate of offering teens a chance to shine in the performing arts, each year’s TOPS show must incorporate at least one student from the board’s 13 high schools: Westwood Sr. and Jr. schools in Hudson and St. Lazare, Macdonald high in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, St. Thomas in Pointe-Claire, Beaconsfield High School, Lakeside Academy, Beurling Academy, Lasalle Community Comprehensive High School, Pierrefonds Comprehensive high, Horizon high, John Rennie, Linsday Place and Riverdale High School.
And not to be left out, a choir from Allion Elementary School in Lasalle will also be featured in the show.
Steven Colpitts, LBPSB Director of Schools and the liaison for the TOPS show, which the board partially funds - the remainder of funds come from corporate sponsors and ticket sales - says he asked to oversee the annual project because he believes so strongly in it.
“I was someone who loved to perform when I was in high school so I know how important it is to give these kids a venue and a chance to shine,” Colpitts said, adding his speciality as a teen was more in the dramatic arts.
Noting that the final production is a professional looking show incorporating polished vocal numbers, complex dance choreography, impressive sets, state-ofthe-art lighting, effects and sound, as well as costumes, hair and make-up, Colpitts said it is no small undertaking.
All of the credit, he added, goes to the TOPS production team.
“These are young people, many who went to one of our high schools and are now either in CEGEP or university studying performing arts, so it’s young people mentoring young people,” he said.
Four of the six members of the production team, including artistic director Robert Lynch, come from Saint Lazare.
When planning this year’s show, Colpits said, the production team knew they wanted to make their mark. “The theme of this year’s show, Now We’re Here, is a nod to the fact that last year was the tenth anniversary and that the show is an established main event for the board, but also that it’s entering into a new phase,” he explained.
Students from each board high school have a chance to audition for TOPS in the fall. Those chosen go into rehearsals right after Christmas, dedicating close to six hours each Saturday until the show premiers.
The TOPS 2014 shows, Now We’re Here, will take place on May 2 at 8 p.m., and May 3, at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Lakeside Academy, 5050 Sherbrooke in Lachine. Tickets are still available to some shows. To order tickets call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006. Tickets can also be purchased in person at Lakeside Academy.