New ground to dance on

Triath­letes Carl Bar­rett and Aubrey Saun­ders put aside the bikes and run­ning shoes in favour of roles in this year’s ‘Chicago’

The Western Star - - CLOSE TO HOME - BY SAM WESTCOTT news­room@thewest­ern­

Some may say an old dog can’t learn a new trick, but Corner Brook triath­letes Aubrey Saun­ders and Carl Bar­rett are cer­tainly putting that adage to the test, and look­ing to their daugh­ters for in­spi­ra­tion.

Saun­ders and Bar­rett both re­cently made the de­ci­sion to sing and act in this year’s pro­duc­tion of “Chicago.” The musical runs Nov. 16- 18 at the Corner Brook Arts and Cul­ture Cen­tre.

For Saun­ders, this will be his sec­ond year in a row putting the bike on the rack in favour of the danc­ing shoes, but it will be Bar­rett’s first.

For some­one about to plunge into new wa­ters for the first time, Bar­rett says he isn’t too ner­vous about hav­ing to get up there and per­form come the 16th. One rea­son for this could be the fact that both men are look­ing to their kids for sup­port.

“I got in­volved be­cause two of my chil­dren are in­volved, and they do a lot of musical theatre and a lot of per­form­ing,” Bar­rett said. “It was a way to spend more time with them, and to get in­volved with some­thing they’re in­volved with, think­ing it would be fun. But it’s turned out that I re­ally love it.”

Saun­ders, too, points to his wife and kids as in­spi­ra­tion for get­ting in­volved with musical theatre.

“Hav­ing seen my chil­dren take mu­sic lessons and per­form, go­ing to the tra­di­tional Christ­mas con­certs, I thought if there was ever an op­por­tu­nity where I got to be on­stage with my daugh­ter ( Kate), I’d jump at the chance” says Saun­ders.

Saun­ders ad­mits he has sought out his daugh­ter’s help af­ter dance classes to en­sure he can learn the proper moves in time for “Chicago.”

He jokes that with­out any for­mal train­ing in act­ing, danc­ing or singing be­tween the two of them, he and Bar­rett are now prac­tis­ing out of fear.

“We’re try­ing our hard­est to just hang on,” Saun­ders said.

De­spite the lack of ex­pe­ri­ence, the two ad­mit their train­ing in triathlons has car­ried over a lit­tle bit to the stage.

Both men point to the phys­i­cal en­durance they’ve built up as a ben­e­fit to their work at the theatre.

Saun­ders says, how­ever, the world of musical theatre is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent realm than the one of high-in­ten­sity car­dio-based sports. Singing, act­ing and danc­ing are func­tion­ing as a brand new tril­ogy of chal­lenges for the ath­letes to try to mas­ter.

Both men are quick to rec­om­mend the ex­pe­ri­ence to any­one else.

“Dive right in and don’t just try it for two weeks, give it six or eight weeks, or a full (show),” Saun­ders said.


Carl Bar­rett (left) and Aubrey Saun­ders are well-known in the sports com­mu­nity. Try­ing com­mu­nity theatre, how­ever, is rel­a­tively new.

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