Springbank Community High School's drama students will draw their swords for the school's upcoming winter theatrical production.
From Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at 7 p.m., the high-school will put on its on-stage rendition of Alexandre Dumas' swashbuckling classic 1844 novel, The Three Musketeers.
Eva Knight, Springbank's drama teacher, said the play will feature plenty of sword-fighting choreography, which will make for an exciting spectacle for audiences.
She said auditions were held back in September and the cast and crew have been working hard in rehearsals since then to prepare for opening night.
“We’ve had about 25 to 30 hours’ worth of sword-fighting classes with a certified fight director,” she said. “The kids have had a lot of time working with these rapiers, learning all sorts of different fights.
“I think there are 10 fights in the show, so they’ve spent a lot of time working with that choreography, trying to get it right, keep it safe, and also entertaining.”
Set in in the 1600s, The Three Musketeers follows the heroic exploits of D'Artagnan, a young man who travels to the French capital of Paris with dreams of joining the esteemed Musketeers of the Guard. Along the way, the protagonist encounters a trio of talented swordsmen, known as the three musketeers – Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. After befriending the three sword-fighters, D'Artagnan and his new companions help thwart a plot to discredit the Queen of France.
While the characters in Dumas' historic novel are predominantly male, Knight said not many boys auditioned for Springbank's production this fall, which meant it was up to some of the drama department's female students to take up the mantle of playing D'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.
Taking on the lead role of D'Artagnan is Grade 10 Springbank student Jemma Dingle, while the three musketeers are played by Grade 10 student Abigail Lewis, Grade 12 student Malia Fryzuk, and Grade 12 student Rebekah Petchatnikov
“[Dingle] is just killing the role,” Knight said. “There are 10 fights she does and she’s on stage for the whole show, except for maybe five minutes. She’s only in Grade 10 but doing such a great job.
“We have these four amazing young women leading the charge on this show, and it’s really neat to see how great they are with the swords and how much they carry the show.”
In addition to their on-stage exploits, Knight said the girls were also involved behind the scenes, including with paint and set design, and costume design and fittings.
Admission for the show is $15 for students and $20 for adults/parents. There is an EventBrite link for tickets at bit.ly/3EV3uNZ.
According to Knight, the winter production is Springbank drama department's main show of the year. She said the school's version of The Three Musketeers features a 30-person cast and 15-person backstage crew (with some overlap).
“The drama department at Springbank is a really neat place where a lot of kids go to be themselves and be accepted,” she said. “There are always 20 to 30 kids eating lunch in the drama room, and this is such a community effort amongst those students. They’re all involved in one way or another on stage or back-stage, and it’s such a community-building experience for these kids.”