Detail from set triptych, painted by renowned Canadian artist Tom McNeely
St.Thomas's is adding a Nativity play to this year's Advent events. The impetus comes from next summer's choir tour to England.
"The more money we raise, the greater the number of singers who will be able to go," says director Nicole Pepper. Committee member Tim Wright is hoping the play will add at least $2,500 to the coffers.
Other committee members are Father Mitchell and Jeanne Yuen, with an assist from Danuta Smith and Charis Kelso. Danuta Smith, Felicity Pickup and Alice Cooley are creating costumes. Pepper, a drama teacher at West Toronto CI and a director with several community drama groups, is impressed by the creativity of St. Thomas's parishioners. More than 25 parishioners will appear on stage, with several dozen others working behind the scenes doing everything from publicity to scenery. They are joined by actors and recent graduates from the Humber College Theatre School, who were brought along by one of Pepper's former students, whom she had asked to play a king.
Alicia Wright, a parishioner from birth and student at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, and acolyte Mike Degan represent Mary and Joseph. Alas, the Jesus wrapped in swaddling bands will be a doll. Yuen, another 9:30 singer, is directing a 16-member choir.
Though they are not St. Thomas's parishioners, lighting director Mike Spencer and set stylist Tom McNeely have family ties to the church. Pepper is hoping to create a realistic but moving experience for her audience. She attended a religious school where a Nativity play was always a special part of the Advent season.
There is a pay-what-you-can dress rehearsal on December 15 at 7:30 p.m. "We think people who come for the rehearsal will want to bring friends on Wednesday or Saturday," Pepper says.
PWYC Dress Rehearsal: Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 pm.
Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 19 at 5:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: adults $15; students $10; children $5
Donations toward production costs also appreciated.