“Every time they step on the stage it’s just going to get better”

PSO student production debut at Martin Exeter Hall

Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School Student’s performed an “effortless” debut of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley inside Martin Exeter Hall on Dec. 10.

“It was the best performance they have done so far,” said Vincent Collins, the drama teacher at PSO. “Some of the students have never been on stage before, it can be very nerve-wracking but I thought they performed effortlessly.”

The play, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley written by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, is a spin-off to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

It follows the story of Mary Bennet, the not-so-talked about character in previous stories of the Bennet family.

In a previous interview, Collins mentioned it being his first time ever directing a show. He said being the opening night, it was kind of like his brainchild, as the students hit the stage yesterday.

“It was very gratifying,” said Collins. “Every time they step on the stage it’s just going to get better and better.”

The first show sold nearly half the hall’s capacity in tickets yesterday (Dec. 10) for the 7 p.m. show. Throughout the evening, students captured many laughs.

“We received a lot of good feedback from some of the community members yesterday,” said Collins. “The kids were ecstatic.”

One resident in attendance mentioned how lovely it was to have a Christmas-themed play leading up to the holidays and reiterated how well the students performed.

“It was fantastic and we had so much fun,” said Collins. “I am looking forward to seeing the kids grow into their level of confidence. Once the initial shock of being on stage goes away, they are going to want to get back up and perform.”

Residents can catch the play each evening at 7 p.m. at Martin Exeter Hall until Dec. 14. A matinee show will also be included at 1 p.m. on Dec. 14.

Because the production consists of 24 students, the cast rotates each night.

“We could have chosen a production where every student had a small role,” said Collins. “They would be on the stage every night, but they wouldn’t have a lot to do – so we compromised. Each student gets a large role but they have to share the spotlight.”

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Didi’s Boutique and Rustic Elements. They are also being sold at the door.

“We really thank the community for coming out to our debut night.”


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Peter Skene Ogden Secondary students Hailey McNabb (left), Lorna Dixon and Robyn Payette perform during the first show of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Martin Exeter Hall on Dec. 10. (Millar Hill - 100 Mile Free Press)

Peter Skene Ogden Secondary students Faith Spurrell (front) and Robyn Payette portray the sisterly feud throughout the production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Martin Exeter Hall on Dec. 10. (Millar Hill - 100 Mile Free Press)

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