Sym­phonic Sto­ry­tellers rais­ing cur­tain on new shows


They are the most en­thu­si­as­tic choir we have ever had — so the mu­sic will be rol­lick­ing.

- Mar­cia O’neill, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Sym­phonic Sto­ry­tellers

Young ac­tors and ac­tresses who make up the Amazinkin troupe with Sym­phonic Sto­ry­tellers in Car­bon­ear are cur­rently re­hears­ing for their next pro­duc­tion.

Seven­teen lo­cal chil­dren ages 610 are work­ing on “Peg and the Whale.”

Mar­cia O’neill, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Sym­phonic Sto­ry­tellers, has adapted for the stage the book, which was writ­ten by Ken­neth Op­pel.

“A big strap­ping lass, Peg isn’t one to do things by half,” ac­cord­ing to the book’s fly­leaf. “By the time she is seven she fig­ures it is high time she catches her­self a whale, so she packs up her rod, says good­bye to her fam­ily and signs on the whal­ing ship, the Viper.”

For the play the group has adapted new lyrics for the tra­di­tional New­found­land folk songs, Jack was Ev­ery Inch a Sailor and The Old Polina, ac­cord­ing to the di­rec­tor.

De­scrib­ing this group of kids as “the most en­thu­si­as­tic choir we have ever had,” O’neill said, “so the mu­sic will be rol­lick­ing.”

They are also “very ex­cited to have a boat on cas­tors as part of the set. The num­ber of set changes, from pigsty to cot­tage to cas­tle to The Vat­i­can, will present a bit of a chal­lenge, but the kids are ex­cited about do­ing some set paint­ing.”

The first public per­for­mance is sched­uled for Sun­day af­ter­noon, March 11 at the Knights of Colum­bus in Car­bon­ear. Show­time is 2 p.m.

O’neill said the show will fea­ture “lots of singing and danc­ing.”

Mean­while, four mem­bers of the Com­mu­nity Group, made up of older kids, will stage the Grimms’ tale, The Fish­er­man and His Wife, that same day. Con­sumed by greed Set­ting the scene for the work, O’neill said, “the fish­er­man and his wife live in a pigsty by the sea. One day the fish­er­man catches a golden floun­der, who claims to be an en­chanted prince.”

The rest of the story plays on the per­ils of greed and the dan­gers of ma­te­rial liv­ing.

The fish­er­man kindly re­leases the floun­der. But his wife or­ders him to go back and ask the floun­der to grant her wish for a nice house in­stead of their hovel.

Af­ter hav­ing her first wish granted, the wife’s greed con­sumes her as her wishes be­come more and more ex­trav­a­gant.

Even­tu­ally she goes too far when she wishes to be­come equal to God. The floun­der takes back ev­ery­thing it granted, and the fish­er­man and his wife wind up back in their hovel.

This will be the first per­for­mance for Sym­phonic Sto­ry­tellers since their suc­cess­ful run of Bah Hum­bug, a New Christ­mas Carol in De­cem­ber 2011. Com­mu­nity theatre The Car­bon­ear-based Sym­phonic Sto­ry­tellers Inc. is a reg­is­tered, not for profit or­ga­ni­za­tion. Its goal is “to pro­vide as many pro­grams as we can for lo­cal chil­dren — pro­grams that deal with theatre and mu­sic,” said O’neill.

Start­ing out in 2008 as a theatre com­pany for chil­dren, the peo­ple be­hind Sym­phonic Sto­ry­tellers would like to see their or­ga­ni­za­tion evolve into an all-in­clu­sive com­mu­nity theatre for all ages, hope­fully, with as many adults as kids.

“The more peo­ple we can in­volve the bet­ter, par­tic­u­larly adults,” O’neill said in an ear­lier in­ter­view.


Photo cour­tesy of Joel Matthews

Mem­bers of Sym­phonic Sto­ry­tellers’ Amazinkin troupe are busy re­hears­ing for their next pro­duc­tion, “Peg and the Whale.” From left are: Rachel Snow, Anna Wil­son, Leah Clarke, Kait­lyn Clarke, Becky Thomey, Brandi Davies, Emma Thomey and Rob­bie Davies.

Photo cour­tesy of Joel Matthews

Mar­cia O’neill is ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Sym­phonic Sto­ry­tellers Inc.

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