Ready to shine

New Christ­mas show, ‘Light Up the Dark! An Arts Ed­u­ca­tion Cel­e­bra­tion’, shines light on work that is be­ing in arts ed­u­ca­tion at the Con­fed­er­a­tion Cen­tre of the Arts

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ISLAND WEEKEND - BY SALLY COLE

As Peggy Red­din was en­vi­sion­ing the an­nual hol­i­day show for the Con­fed­er­a­tion Cen­tre of the Arts this year, her thoughts turned to pre­vi­ous pro­duc­tions.

Whether mu­si­cals or pan­tomimes of com­edy-filled shows like “Cin­derella: A Fairly Tall Tale”, “Aladdin” or “Robyn Hood”, each had pro­vided a won­der­ful, the­atri­cal ex­pe­ri­ence for the au­di­ence.

“Think­ing about the show, over the years, left us won­der­ing ‘where do we want to take it next? Maybe it was time for some­thing

new,” says Red­din, di­rec­tor of Arts Ed­u­ca­tion at the Con­fed­er­a­tion Cen­tre.

She re­ceived her an­swer when she real­ized the 2018 show co­in­cided with the 30th birth­day of dance um­brella, a cen­tre pro­gram.

Sud­denly her thoughts switched from look­ing for a script to look­ing at arts ed­u­ca­tion and “all the work be­ing done at the cen­tre that some­times flies be­low the radar be­cause classes are more process driven than prod­uct driven.”

“We thought, let’s use the Christ­mas pro­duc­tion to re­ally show­case what we do in arts ed­u­ca­tion,” says Red­din, adding the re­sult of her cre­ative ex­er­cise is “Light Up the Dark! An Arts Ed­u­ca­tion Cel­e­bra­tion”, a onenight-only show com­ing to the Hom­burg Theatre stage on Fri­day, Dec. 14.

Di­rected by ac­tor/ed­u­ca­tor Jody Raci­cot, the spir­ited va­ri­ety concert is a cel­e­bra­tion of more than 90 emerg­ing artists, as well as the win­ter sol­stice – the end of the year and the re­turn of the sun.

“Light Up the Dark!” will in­clude ap­prox­i­mately 75 per­form­ers, in­clud­ing stu­dents from the School of Per­form­ing Arts (SoPA) dance and theatre pro­grams, the SoPA school show choir, the SoPA-tones and SoPA’s Celtic Mu­sic En­sem­ble as well as the Mi’kmaq Her­itage Ac­tors who will per­form a se­lec­tion of win­ter tales based on tra­di­tional Mi’kmaq le­gends, un­der the di­rec­tion of Julie Pel­lisier-Lush.

Other par­tic­i­pants in­clude select classes from dance um­brella, rang­ing from 10 to 70 years of age. The dance com­po­nent of the show is var­ied with dance

um­brella stu­dents per­form­ing pieces from “The Nutcracker”.

“That’s the clos­est to Christ­mas that we’re go­ing to get,” laughs Red­din, adding the pro­gram will in­clude “Waltz of the Snowflakes”, “Ladies in White Tu­tus” and a clas­si­cal bal­let num­ber chore­ographed by Ki­ley Fudge Jensen. The younger, in­ter­me­di­ate bal­let group are do­ing the Rus­sian and Chi­nese Tea dances, also from the “Nutcracker” and the per­for­mance group is do­ing a con­tem­po­rary and jazz piece.

There will also be stu­dent gen­er­ated work from SoPA and group chore­og­ra­phy by Fudge Jensen, as well.

“I’m ex­cited. It’s go­ing to be very ful­fill­ing for the peo­ple who come to take in the evening,” says Red­din, who is equally en­thused about the art com­po­nent of the show which is be­ing co­or­di­nated by Kate Sharp­ley, vis­ual arts ed­u­ca­tor, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the P.E.I. New­com­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

“I’m so glad that Kate will have her ex­hibit hap­pen­ing, at the same time, in Me­mo­rial Hall,” says Red­din.

The art show fea­tures the work of 13 teenagers, show­cas­ing print­ing, paint­ing, draw­ing or pa­pier-mâché.

“They’re do­ing amaz­ing work. They’re more en­gaged be­cause they have both choice and own­er­ship. This week the pa­pier-mâché pieces are ready to go and the paint­ing and print­ing are still in progress,” says Sharp­ley.

Next week it’s up to the show’s di­rec­tor to put the pieces of the va­ri­ety show to­gether.

“I’m there to take all these sep­a­rate en­ti­ties to­gether that fall un­der the Con­fed­er­a­tion Cen­tre, plus the Mi’Kmaq Le­gends and present what the vi­sion­ar­ies have in mind and put it into one con­gru­ous evening of en­ter­tain­ment,” says Raci­cot.

He is hop­ing to cre­ate some mag­i­cal mo­ments.

“We’re go­ing to see artists ex­press­ing them­selves quite clearly through the theme, ‘Light up the dark’.”


Con­fed­er­a­tion Cen­tre art stu­dents work on their projects dur­ing a re­cent class. Their cre­ations will be in­cluded in an art ex­hibit as part of “Light Up the Dark! An Arts Ed­u­ca­tion Cel­e­bra­tion.From left are Nawal Khailil, Anna Alkhouri, Vi­vian Huang and Mar­ilia Van­der­lei.


Or­ga­niz­ers of “Light Up the Dark! An Arts Ed­u­ca­tion Cel­e­bra­tion” are ex­cited about the one-night-only show at the Hom­burg Theatre stage of the Con­fed­er­a­tion Cen­tre of the Arts on Fri­day, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. From left are Jody Raci­cot, di­rec­tor, Peggy Red­din, di­rec­tor of Arts Ed­u­ca­tion, Con­fed­er­a­tion Cen­tre, and Kate Sharp­ley, vis­ual arts ed­u­ca­tor, Con­fed­er­a­tion Cen­tre.


Julie Pel­lissier-Lush ap­pears in a hand­out photo. She will di­rect the Mi’kmaq Her­itage Ac­tors in some win­ter tales based on tra­di­tional Mi’kmaq le­gends in the show.


Theatre stu­dents from Con­fed­er­a­tion Cen­tre and Holland Col­lege’s School of Per­form­ing Arts will also per­form in the show. From left are Kassinda Bul­ger, Adan Loreto Ruiz, Kibbi Hipolito May­oleytte and Ivan de Je­sus Valdes.


Molly Rain­nie, left, and Jayne Goss are two of the dance um­brella stu­dents tak­ing part in the show.

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