“Rose’s Clothes” Hanging Out in Town Park

by Lorraine Payette, written June 7, 2015

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Performance in Town Park

(Gananoque, ON) There are certain unmistakable signs of summer in Gananoque – chip trucks, open air patios filling up at local restaurants, the fountains coming back on. One of the most welcome, however, has got to be the return of the Thousand Islands Playhouse Young Company and their free theatre in the park.

“The show, ‘Rose’s Clothes’, will be playing in Town Hall Park at 4:30 on Thursdays and Saturdays between now and July 11,” said Rob Kempson, director of the show and associate artistic director at the Playhouse. “There are a couple of exceptions with two performances on Canada Day instead of on the second, but mostly the Thursday and Saturday shows, weather permitting.”

The Young Company is an apprenticeship for young actors allowing them to experience every aspect of bringing a play together and taking it on the road. They start in April and finish in July, playing for a wide range of audiences including schools, seniors’ residences, and open air performances. This year they are made up of four talented young people – Simon Gagon (doing his last year of a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree at Queens in Kingston), Madison Hayes-Crook (a Toronto based actor/singer/dancer), Erica Hill (first time doing professional theatre), and Michaela Steven (stage manager and third year Queen’s University drama student). Between them they bring playwright Jason Hall’s “Rose’s Clothes” to life. An interactive play, audience members can get up, put on costumes and become part of the show.

Rose is having the worst day of her life. It isn’t just a bad day, or a very bad day. It’s a very, very, very, VERY bad day. Everything is going wrong, and everyone seems to be mad at her. Surely there must be some magical solution, some way to get someone else to solve her problems and make them all go away.

Rose has inherited a trunk full of clothes from her grandmother, a trunk full of magical connections to the women in her family who came before her. But can she learn the lessons she needs them to teach her?

A delightful romp through the frustrations of growing up, Rose learns that taking responsibility for her own actions really isn’t so terrible and she can learn a lot from the past.

Aimed at students from kindergarten through grade five, the message is delivered in a fun and colourful way. Audience members were happy with what they saw.

Sophie, Olivia, Maya, Gracie, and Linden all thought the show was great. Linden even thought he might like to go on someday and become an actor, playing good guys who use swords. They felt that the whole world should come out to see it, and especially bring their friends.

Jenna and Serena also liked the show, but were somewhat concerned about audience sizes. Even though they wanted all of their friends there, they didn’t think the whole world should come. Why?

“It’s too much people and we’ll get squashed,” said Jenna. Serena agreed.

To have a great time, be sure to come out to a convenient performance. Admission is free, and there’s a lot of room in the park for family and friends (maybe the whole world). Just make sure you don’t get “squashed”.

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