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Briercrest Summer Stage More than a Performance

Posted: June 9, 2016

The Briercrest Summer Stage 2016 season wraps up on Friday, June 10 with what promises to be a full house and an energetic show. The season opened on May 13 and included five performances of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man followed by five performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s musical comedy classic The Pirates of Penzance.

 

This final weekend consists of two encore performances of The Music Man, for a total of twelve performances over five weeks. Artistic Director Ron De Jager, who also took on the role of Major General Stanley in Pirates, could not have been more pleased with the run. “Everybody did a fantastic job,” de Jager recalls. “Not only the cast, but the crew behind the scenes as well. Costumes, set, lighting, accompaniment, everybody outdid themselves.”

Briercrest Summer Stage has been running for four years and provides exceptional opportunities for Briercrest College Vocal Performance students. In addition to the invaluable performance experience that makes them stand out even in secular performance circles, the proceeds from Briercrest Summer Stage provide scholarships for Briercrest College Vocal Performance students and enable the Performing and Worship Arts department to invite professionals in the field of vocal performance to visit the campus and work with students. Since Briercrest Summer Stage began in 2013 the department has hosted such renowned individuals as Dr. Janette Ogg from Shenandoah University, Dr. Laura Loewen from the University of Manitoba, and Professor Lorna MacDonald from the University of Toronto. These opportunities have helped to equip students for success on a national, and even international, scale.

The reputation of Briercrest Summer Stage is growing. This year audiences were larger than ever, and Briercrest Summer Stage was featured on CTV Morning Live Regina – twice. As the program continues to grow, two cast members pause to consider the personal value they have found in participating in the productions. “The most valuable part of my Summer Stage experience was being able to share a mutual love for music, acting, and dancing with so many talented individuals,” reflects John-Mark Smith, a newcomer to Summer Stage this year who took on the lead role of Harold Hill in The Music Man. “I [now] have a deeper appreciation for the authenticity of live vocal performance as well as the considerable amount of work put into making a stage production.” Kristi Kozun, a Briercrest College Vocal Performance alumnus who spent a year studying voice at the University of Toronto in 2015-16, describes the exceptionally supportive performance community that keeps her coming back to Briercrest Summer Stage every year: “...we really truly care about and love each other. Of all of the contexts in which I have performed, this one is unique in the way we care for one another.”

With Briercrest Summer Stage finished for the year, the Briercrest College Performing and Worship Arts department turns its attention to the 2016-17 academic year. Productions in the near future will include a return of the widely lauded Voices from the Front Remembrance Day production, as well as A Briercrest Christmas. Details and announcements for upcoming Briercrest College performance events can be found on the Briercrest Onstage Facebook page, www.facebook.com/BriercrestOnstage.

Written by Michael King, Administrative Assistant – Performing & Worship Arts dept.