Behind the Scenes of Spoon River Anthology: Ben

Ben Thomas.

Ben Thomas.

The youngest actor in Spoon River Anthology is also one of the most experienced. Ben Thomas is 13 years old, attending Grade 8 at Fort McMurray Composite High School, and you might recognise him from the Keyano Theatre main stage as the Ghost of Christmas Past from A Christmas Carol (2014) or as a part of the ensemble of Les Miserables (2014). Ben was born here in Fort McMurray and lived here all his life. He's extremely artistic and creative, and says: "I enjoy playing guitar, drawing things, and participating in theatrical experiences.  Many people at school call me a good actor, and personally, I think anyone can be a good actor, or good anything, as long as you’re determined and love what you’re doing. I love theatre because of how you can become any character you want, and how you can apply it to a piece of work. Working with other people and interacting with them as a character is also one of my favourites about theatre."

"Being in Spoon River Anthology has been really appealing to me. It is different from other plays in the sense of how dialogue is almost non-existent, and how many different characters there are. It has been an interesting journey seeing all of us turning into our characters, and how we act on stage. Being involved has been challenging, but overall really fun for me."

Ben as the Ghost of Christmas Past in the 2014 production of A Christmas Carol, here pictured with his father Russell Thomas who played Scrooge. (Photo: Greg Halinda)

Ben as the Ghost of Christmas Past in the 2014 production of A Christmas Carol, here pictured with his father Russell Thomas who played Scrooge. (Photo: Greg Halinda)

Working with a professional crew is not the most foreign thing to me. I have been in two professional productions prior to this, so I knew what to expect. Overall, I am enjoying working with this professional crew. It is nice to feel like we are actually getting stuff done and take things seriously. (Most of the time.)

My favourite thing about this show, is how all of the characters relate to each other in some way, and create a sense of community. You can see this with their body language, in their monologues and in the tone of their voice. The most challenging thing in the show, would be the transitions for me. They were hard to get used too. In the beginning, sorting them out was a pain for the actors and the crew. But once we sorted them out and kept redoing them, they became much easier.

Spoon River Anthology is a play with many different characters of many different lives that they lived. The emotions, body language and overall feel that the characters give, is really unique. The set, and the stylized transitions that make up this play only contribute more to the whole thing. So if you’re looking for a play with in-depth characters, good music, and stylized transitions, come see Spoon River Anthology at Keyano Theatre."


 

SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY

Preview: April 27, 8:00 pm
Opening: April 28, 8:00 pm
Show dates: April 29, May 4, May 5, May 6, 2017 8:00 pm

Tickets available at keyano.ca/theatre

Genre: Drama
Rating: Appropriate for all audiences

In the fictional small town of Spoon River we are introduced to the ghosts of the people that were once its inhabitants who took their secrets to the grave. While exploring the evocative story, both the sad and humorous sides of life are portrayed in the haunting performance with fetching ballads and the free verse of Edgar Lee Masters.

“A dramatic presentation reduced to its simplest terms… moving and beautiful… An evening of astonishingly stirring emotional satisfaction.” – New York Post

“A glowing theatre experience… A brooding and loving American folk poem brought to life on a stage.” – The New York Times