Drama Force Peter Pan Jr: Roxanne
As the summer is fast approaching with sunny days and bright skies, Keyano Theatre is getting ready for the Drama Force Summer Intensive - Disney's Peter Pan Jr! Every day for three weeks, local youth will be learning acting, singing and dancing, creating a full-scale production in that time! The show is cast within the first few days, and the students have an intense (and fun!) schedule in order to get the show on its feet. They learn drama skills and also have access to workshops, improvisation classes, singing and choreography sessions.
The captain of this ship is the incredibly talented director Roxanne Dicke, who is returning to Drama Force for her fourth year; "I came on board with Drama Force in its first year, and have been returning ever since. Alan Roberts (Director of Keyano Theatre) invited me to direct and lead this new venture for Keyano Theatre. I was excited to come back to Fort McMurray, and loved the format we developed for the intensive. I also fully enjoy working in Keyano Theatre, as it still feels like a second home to me. I’ve had the honour and pleasure of working with great people on these shows, and it makes it an easy choice to return again!" Roxanne has been teaching and directing theatre for more than 20 years and says "it doesn’t seem possible that it’s been that long"! She holds a BFA, MA and Bed in drama, and have had the opportunity to teach and direct in many communities, including Fort McMurray at Keyano College for many years. Presently, she teaches theatre for four universities in and around Prince Albert, and is the Artistic Director of Spark Theatre, having just finished their inaugural season! She also teaches and directs with a youth company in Prince Albert, called Broadway North, which is an amazing training and production company (their productions include 70-80 kids). "I love the variety of opportunities in my life and career. The future holds more theatre, of that I’m sure. I love working with talented people who push boundaries and take risks. Theatre has a high concentration of those people, which makes it my ideal playground. I am a driven, passionate person who values the power of the imagination."
"My favourite part of Drama Force is the family that is created among the students in the time they are there. We have students of different ages and backgrounds, from different schools and life experiences. They become very supportive of each other throughout the experience, and I’m amazed at the bonds they create every year. My other favourite part is the fact that these incredible young actors create a play in such a short time, with such energy and enthusiasm.
Peter Pan is truly a story about youthful imagination and the desire to celebrate the joys of being a kid. It takes us into this place of imagination, and invites us to “play” again. It appeals to old and young this way. The Father does not encourage, nor understand the value of play and imagination, and so the children find it themselves on an incredible adventure. There is hope for Dad too, at the end, when he remembers the joy of imagination. His children teach him this. There are so many amazing characters in this play, and it’s a delight to cast it. I also love the comedy in this script, and the reminder to be a kid, to embrace playfulness and the imagination."
"Drama Force is a wonderful time for me because the community of Fort McMurray is a special community. I am happy to say that I have many old friends still there, and have met many new ones who I love spending time with. Last season, I directed Run for Your Wife at KT, and had an absolute riot working with the staff and the amazing actors. Then, last summer after the fire, we really didn’t know if we could run Drama Force, but we did. It was a spectacular year. We adjusted to a different format as they were still restoring the college at the time, but having such a positive opportunity for the kids (and families) returning home was the best thing we could have done. The strength and resilience these kids demonstrated, as well as the staff of Keyano Theatre to make it happen, was inspiring. I felt honoured to be there and grateful to witness the power of the community.
This year, I’m looking forward to meeting the kids, tackling a truly fun show, and catching up with terrific people. Drama Force is an amazing opportunity for young actors. We hope to fill the program once again with local talent, and encourage 10-17 year olds to jump in and join the ride that will be Peter Pan! We need actors of all ages, to join us for this terrific experience!"