Setting the stage – Oak Bay High gears up for period musical

Cast members Brian Archdekin

Cast members Brian Archdekin

Being the older sister of two younger brothers has helped one Oak Bay High student prepare for her role in the school’s upcoming theatre production.

“Being mean and controlling is quite natural for me,” said Millie O’Brien, 17. She plays the role of a hotel owner turned white slave trader in the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie.

O’Brien is part of one of the largest casts in the school’s history, with 45 students hitting the stage. Another 15 are working as stage hands and 15 on costumes and makeup. A 21-piece student orchestra will accompany the musical numbers for the production, which tells the story of a young woman making her way in 1920s New York. 

It’s the first time for teacher Steven Price in the director’s chair. Previously he’s organized set design and the orchestra, but he decided to give directing a try this year.

“As long as I keep one step ahead of everything, I’m good,” he said.

To create a hotel scene, a stairway leading to the stage in the aging theatre was dismantled and a wall altered. A balcony was built three metres up, the better for characters to gaze upon the city.

“We’ve been taking advantage of the old facility by putting a few holes in the wall here and there, doing things we won’t be able to do in the new school,” Price said.

All 21 songs from the 2002 stage adaptation of the original 1967 Universal Pictures film will be performed in the musical.

It’s a classic girl-meets-boy, girl-loses-boy plot, featuring a foiled abduction attempt, a good-hearted villain and a happy ending. It’s a production the students wanted to perform, Price said. 

“The great thing is, the kids who are here want to be here – there’s no coercion.” 

Students have been rehearsing since October.

“I’m just glad I got to do such a good show in my last year,” said O’Brien, who is set to graduate this spring. 

Thoroughly Modern Millie runs Feb. 28 to March 4, with a matinée on the last day. Tickets are $12 each or $10 for students and seniors and are available at the school. For more information, call 250-598-3361. 

vmoreau@oakbaynews.com

 

Just Posted

Police are looking for witnesses and video footage after a crash on June 18. (Photo courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP looking for videos related to Corvette crash

Driver believed to have fled the scene of View Royal crash

The Pat Bay Highway was closed for several hours Monday morning after a drug-impaired driver crashed into two hydro poles. (Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATE: Pat Bay closure caused by drug-impaired driver

Man struck two hydro poles, closing a section of the Pat Bay Monday morning

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Greater Victoria with unusually high temperatures expected Monday and this coming weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria’s first week of summer will be a scorcher

Special weather statement issued Monday by Environment Canada

Central Saanich has rejected plans for a pilot project that would allow food trucks in Centennial Park. (Black Press Media file photo)
Central Saanich puts brakes on food truck pilot project

Coun. Carl Jensen questions Central Saanich’s consistency

A rendering shows what the Doral Forest Park development would look like from the southwest. (Rendering via D’AMBROSIO Architecture & Urbanism)
Beaver Lake area project passes next hurdle in Saanich

Council approval for 242-unit parks edge development hinges on meeting of conditions

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

By the end of life, the average North American has eaten the weight of a family sedan in sugar. (Pixabay.com)
FITNESS: Living the sweet life without too much sugar

Simple choices can have a major impact on your health

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Most Read