Sidney theatre students tackle the dramatic musical

Fires Burning production teaches kids that not everything in life is positive.

The cast of Fires Burning will perform on June 24 as part of Mountain Dream Productions.

Sometimes musicals aren’t all happy and cheery like many make them out to be.

Set in the late 1800’s, the dramatic musical Fires Burning takes the audience to a disaster that hits the small western town of Caldoon’s Crossing.

Written by Artistic Director for Mountain Dream Productions Margaret Watt, the musical follows the story of how a group of children helped by main characters Caroline and Jodi come together.

“It’s a story of love, strength and hope, resilience of the children because they have to come to grips of survival when their town is burned,” Watt told the PNR, adding that the town loses everything as a result of the fire.

The students who are part of what’s called the triple threat performing arts (music, singing and dancing) have been rehearsing every Tuesday for 17 weeks at the Mary Winspear Centre.

“It’s really nice to see it coming together. The kids have done an awesome job,” said Watt.

Playing the two main characters are Samantha Wong (as Caroline) and Maria Roesli (Jodi).

Wong said Caroline has had a very troubled past,  but that she is still a very caring person. She said with all of the trauma that’s occurred, her character is fragile.

“I think its great to be able to play an emotional character because it allows you to really expand your acting abilities beyond one dimensional characters,” said Wong about what she likes about playing Caroline.

For Roesli, who plays Jodi, she said they have also had a past trauma.

Jodi supports Caroline along with all of the other children in the town, helping them get through what they too are going through.

“I agree with Samantha that I am happy that I get to play a character that can also have more sadness because most of the characters that I’ve played, well pretty much all of them, have been in a show that was more or less happy,” she said.

“And I am glad that I have had the chance to be in a play that has not just happiness but sadness too.”

The performance will take place on June 24 beginning at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids and can be purchased through the Mary Winspear Centre at 250-656-0275.

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