January 12, 2017
Seldom does the arts and sports intertwine.
Here is an example of when they do:
Gulf Islands Driftwood
Wednesday, November 10, 1999
GISS’ swimmers whain the ‘heat’
The cast of Swimmers, the Gulf Islands Secondary School’s (GISS) theatre and dance production, “got into the swim of things” last weekend at ArtSpring.
Swimmers is about escaping the trials and tribulations of being teenagers.
Lyle (Adam Vickers), who is not helped in his confusion with growing up by his dysfunctional family situation, and Wendy (Charlotte Curtis), who believes no one likes her and is “flunking out” in school. escape to a place called Swimworld.
It is a place created through Wendy’s fantasies where everyone does the only thing that she can do well: swim.
In a magical way, explained by playwright Clem Martini, Wendy projects Lyle into this world with her, through her dreams.
Dressed in black with ocean green sleeves, the dancers were the waves that ebbed, flowed and even crashed around the play’s main characters.
Vickers used his body — even doing handstands across the stage — and facial expressions to effectively relay his frustration with his stage parents and the character Lyle’s inability to come to terms with his feelings.
Vickers, who audiences will know from his role as the Wizard in the Salt Spring Centre and Centre School’s Ramayana last summer has potential to work towards professional acting if he should choose this route.
Not that the actors who played Lyle’s parents take a back seat to Vickers when it comes to talent. Tangle Caron, who played Lyle’s mother, had a refreshingly zany quality that reminded me a bit of Carol Burnett.
Caron and John-Michael McColl, who played the father, put forward good performances in the challenging roles of partents whose dysfunction reaches surrealistic heights.
First, they sported New York accents, then German Nazi and Italian Mafia personas while their characters found one technique after another to torture their stage son.
Lyle did the usual teenage I-don’t-like-you-but-I-can-stay-away-from-you routine with Curtis’ character. She played the younger tough girl loner, obsessed with Beatles’ music, convincingly well.
Jack Roland made a good basketball-dribbling imp who, as Brenner, did his best to get in the way of Lyle and Wendy becoming more intimate.
The small part of coach was played by teacher Dave Astill.
Concentration was written over the face of each dancer as they executed the fairly complicated dance routine.
Besides Caron, dancers included Gisele Contant, Kirstin Flannagan, Brittany Grundy, Melaina Haas, Jani Janzen, Avery Klenman, Amitai Marmorstein, Martina Nowak, Laura Richardson, Jack Roland, Solana Rimpre, Kayla Schmah, Amber Seguin and Jesse Young.
The Running Crew should also be mentioned for contributing sweat equity during the many set changes which included carrying a table, chairs, a bed and students lockers on and off stage.
The play was directed by Christina Pittmann, GISS drama teacher, and choreographed by the school’s dance teacher Sonia Langer…
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