Grow­ing up on stage

Har­bour Grace teens have spent sev­eral sum­mers act­ing with Per­chance The­atre in Cupids

The Compass - - Arts - BY AN­DREW ROBINSON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­

Young ac­tors Annabelle Shee­han and Alexan­der Wil­son are cer­tainly no strangers to the stage.

It comes as no sur­prise that they’re both keen to per­form in front of live au­di­ences, as they’ll once again do this sum­mer in Cupids with Per­chance The­atre. Alexan­der, a 16-year-old from Har­bour Grace, is the son of Paul Wil­son, a vet­eran ac­tor who has been in­volved with Per­chance The­atre for years and also pops up in film and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tions. Both of Annabelle’s par­ents (in­clud­ing pop­u­lar New­found­land comedian John Shee­han, a Per­chance The­atre alum­nus) are ac­tors as well.

“We’ve both been part of our schools’ drama troupes since Grade 7,” said Annabelle, a 17-year-old, also from Har­bour Grace.

Alexan­der said his dad’s in­volve­ment in the arts in­ter­ested him from a young age. He is now in his fourth sea­son with the non-profit the­atre com­pany. It’s Annabelle’s third.

“It’s hard to put the words to de­scribe it, be­cause it’s such a unique op­por­tu­nity that not many peo­ple, let alone peo­ple of our age, re­ally have,” Alexan­der said when asked about be­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced mem­ber of a pro­fes­sional the­atre com­pany at such a young age.

Per­chance The­atre con­tin­ues to make its home in an out­door per­for­mance space un­like any other in the prov­ince.

The 2018 sea­son kicked off Sat­ur­day, June 30, with the first per­for­mance of “Our El­iza,” a play by Me­gan Gail Coles that was also part of the 2017 lineup. An­ton Chekov’s “The Seag­ull,” adapted by David French of Co­ley’s Point,” pre­mieres July 14, with Wil­liam Shake­speare’s “A Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream” de­but­ing the fol­low­ing Fri­day, July 21. Alexan­der and Annabelle are both per­form­ing in the lat­ter play.

“‘A Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream’ is the first Shake­speare play I ever read or heard of, and I’ve loved it since I was a kid, so it’s fun to be able to do it,” said Annabelle, who plays a fairy in the pro­duc­tion, di­rected by Per­chance The­atre artis­tic di­rec­tor Danielle Irvine.

The per­form­ers have been meet­ing at The Lantern in St. John’s for re­hearsals in prepa­ra­tion for hit­ting the out­door stage in Cupids.

“The whole show and the way it’s com­ing to­gether so far is prob­a­bly the most dy­namic thing I think we’ve ever done up in Cupids,” Alexan­der said.

North River na­tive Erin Mackey is back with the group this sum­mer, fresh off her first year at the Na­tional The­atre School of Canada. Alexan­der ad­mits he would not mind fol­low­ing in her foot­steps.

“I don’t know if it’s just cause it’s a fam­ily thing or what, but since the first year I re­ally did any­thing at school with the drama troupe, I’ve seen this sort of ca­reer path as some­thing I’d gen­uinely love to fol­low in life,” he said.

A full sched­ule for sum­mer per­for­mances can be found on the Per­chance The­atre web­site — http://www.per­chancethe­


De­spite their ages, ac­tors Annabelle Shee­han and Alexan­der Wil­son have each been in­volved with Per­chance The­atre in Cupids for sev­eral sum­mer sea­sons. They’re both from Har­bour Grace.

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