Distinctive amateur drama
in Northampton since 1932
Registered Charity No. 294848
Cast & Crew
Storyteller Alex Rex
Gitche Manito William Morgan
Nokomis Verity Johnson
Wenonah Alanna Kitson
Mudjekeewis Peter Robinson
Young Hiawatha George Fitt
Hiawatha Elliot Bannister
Chibiabos Euan Kitson
Kwasino Edward Russell
Kwasino’s Mother Rebekah Robinson
Kwasino’s Father Simon Jack
Arrowmaker David Hanly
Minnehaha Hannah Banks
Iagoo Alex Stevenson
Pau-Puk-Keewis Kit Brown
Cavalry Officer William Morgan
Ensemble Imogen Fitt, Bekki George, Nitish Shah, Anisha Sood, Perri Ventour, Tom Wood
Musician Kay Warcaba
Director Ursula Wright
Choreographer Kerri Jackson
Costume Design Roz Inett
Lighting Design Richard Walker
Visual Effects and Sound Kevin Stoney (Sole Studios)
Projection David Chappell
Stage Manager Kate Corrie
Assistant Stage Manager Lucy Payne
Technical Crew Eleanor Potter, Beth Temple
Costumes Made by Dorothy Grainger, Roz Inett
Assisted by Rhiannon George, Marilyn Hanly, Judy Robinson, Judith Sood
Poster Design Roz Inett, Tamsyn Payne
Photographs Joe Brown
Refreshments Tim & Maggie Munday with Youth Theatre parents
Front of House Masque Theatre & Youth Theatre
Lily Jeni Mulchrone
Katie Lauren Shaw
Jacob Nick Smith (Thu/Fri) Nic Munday (Sat)
Jack ‘J’ Marlow Tom Morath
Chris ‘Mac’ McMillan William Cheyne
Alex ‘Tom’ Jones Nina Harries
Dave ‘Dave’ Smith Oliver Millett
Rachel ‘Lees’ Lees-Field Olivia Galliano
Dominic ‘Caz’ Johnson Gemma Ray
Maya Annie Warren
Meegan Harriet Clarke
Julia Alice Fitt
Dance Teacher Chloe Tebbutt
History Teacher Maud McCutcheon
Teachers Alex Duncan, Andrew Wilson
Students Xanthia Carmichael, Nic Munday, Padraig Condron, Alex Duncan, Adam Monk, Hannah Collier, Nick Smith, Andrew Wilson
Percussion Andrew Wilson, Nick Smith, Nic Munday
Director Edward Toone
Assistant Director Tim Page
Choreographer Stephanie Smith
Musical Director Andrew Wilson
Posters & Artwork Ellie Davies
Visuals & Soundscapes Edward Toone
Lighting Design Tim Page, Richard Walker
Technical Crew Eleanor Potter, Beth Temple
Prompt Amelia Wilson
Costumes Cast & Edward Toone
A scene from Hiawatha
Production Nos. 364 & 365
Ursula Wright, director of Masque Youth Theatre
For some it’s the cuckoo that heralds the arrival of Spring. For me, it’s the question “What are we going to do next?” A tricky one, that.
What do you do with a group of 40-50 enthusiastic young actors, all wanting a meaningful role and insisting on remaining a single company, not sub-divided by age or ability, as many youth theatres do.
Last year, the answer came before the question. Edward Toone (known to adult Masque members as Romeo in Rob Kendall’s production a few years ago and more recently as one of the two Pierrot policemen in The Venetian Twins) said he wanted to write a play for Masque Youth Theatre, based on an idea he had been exploring through his poetry. As he explains below, the original plan was scaled down to a one-act play for half the group; writing a two hour play for a cast of 45 is undertaken only by the foolhardy, the very experienced or Ann Jellicoe, pioneer of the community play!
After Edward had outlined his ideas for the themes and storyline of his play, my task was to find something complementary for the other half of the group.
Hiawatha seemed an ideal solution. I had never seen it myself, but knew the poem on which it is based and knew of its success at the Young Vic and the National Theatre.
It would supply the cultural and historical references that could feed into Warpaint, it included native American songs and dances, it could be trimmed to a comparable length: a perfect partner!
With their usual good grace, the whole group accepted our decision to split them into two companies and that they would have no choice as to which play they were in, or with whom they would work. In fact, as we have been rehearsing entirely separately, alternate weeks in the gym and the hall at Northgate School, they will not see each other perform until the final Dress Rehearsal.
Hiawatha is proving to be a challenging and rewarding piece of theatre.
We are getting to grips with Longfellow’s hypnotic and beautiful verse, with songs in Algonquin language, with authentic dances expertly choreographed by Kerri Jackson, with pieces of cloth and seven foot poles.
Live percussion is provided by Kay Warcaba, design is by Roz Inett (Fine Art graduate from Northampton University) and Katy Corrie brings experience, enthusiasm and good humour to the demanding job of stage management.
We think you will enjoy the vitality and talent of Masque Youth Theatre in this year’s double bill production - two plays for the very reasonable price of one!
16 - 18 April 2009 at 7.30pm
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Sheep Street, Northampton
Masque Youth Theatre
by Michael Bogdanovic
by Edward Toone
Edward Toone, writer & director
The decision to write for the group was easy. In fact I cannot really remember it ever being a conscious choice. I had an idea, I wrote it down on cue cards, discussed it with Ursula and Brian Wright and Warpaint was conceived.
Like a generous amount of young people, my idea started off big, but after the discussion with the aforementioned wise heads, it was decided that Warpaint would be approximately one hour long and the Youth Theatre would produce a double bill for this year’s production. This helped me to focus and keep Warpaint manageable for me.
The enthusiasm and verve the members of the Youth Theatre bring with them to our weekly sessions challenged me to write something for this group of talented young people. Warpaint was conjured out of my popular culture and a theme from everyday life that everyone including myself is guilty of: hiding our real selves.
Regularly we as humans mask our identity behind our make-up, our demeanour, our status symbols, our warpaint, so that everyone else does not find out who we really are. Is this because we are frightened or is it too much like hard work being the real you? Warpaint follows the story of two young people, who are trying to discard their warpaint and be themselves.
Jeni Mulchrone and Tom Morath play the parts of Lily and Jack. Both have been members for many years, most recently appearing in Gulliver and Ringtime. Thankfully they, along with the rest of the cast, bring to life the play ‘what I wrote’.
With this being my first foray into script writing, I am understandably nervous. Rehearsals are going as well as expected, there’s just never enough time to do everything I want to get done. However, being ably assisted by Tim Page and with Steph Smith contributing her eminent choreography, I believe we will get everything done and produce a show worthy of the talent and reputation of the group.
REVIEW OF HIAWATHA & WARPAINT
Patricia Coleman, Masque Theatre member
This year the Masque Youth Theatre presented a double bill of two very different pieces: Hiawatha, written and initially directed by Michael Bogdanov, and directed for the Youth Theatre by Ursula Wright, and a completely new piece of work Warpaint, specially written for the Youth Theatre by former member (now young leader) Ed Toone.
I shall talk about them separately, starting with the last shown first.
Set in the school community of a Grange Hill type comprehensive Warpaint follows the character of shy and insecure Lily – her audition for the dance project, her special friendship with super-cool Jack, the sensitising of thoughtless bully Chris, and their combined moral victory over the school bullies.
The dance performance at the end is a celebration of community. Warpaint also references the public face we put on (like warpaint) to protect our vulnerability.
This theme of people learning to respect each other and working together on the collaborative project of the North American dance was tackled with great sincerity by the cast whose commitment was evident, and the script was able to draw upon actors’ own experience.
Issues raised had particular resonance with younger members of the audience who were subsequently keen to discuss the issues around bullying and peer pressure after the performance.
The frequent scene changes slowed the pace and the naturalism of the acting dropped voice levels at times, but the interaction between the characters was excellent.
A special gold star to the genius who clamped coffee mugs in the hands of the school staff, and to Alex … who was that teacher?!
Hiawatha had strong assured performances throughout from everyone with natural characterisations, and excellent ensemble work.
Alex Rex was splendid as narrator, giving the words life and meaning whilst maintaining the rhythm and pace of the epic poem.
Elliot Bannister was a commanding Hiawatha, and Euan Kitson’s singing was particularly beautiful.
I was delighted by the ingenious use of simple props, the wonderful puppets and the accurate timing of the AV and technical effects. All was underpinned creatively by flute and percussion.
The native American dances occupied a natural place as part of the overall choreography of the play itself, and the dancers coped superbly in the rather confined space of the crusader round – especially Kit Brown about whom I was literally holding my breath as he whirled about in an incredibly small space.
I was entranced, totally absorbed, and moved (almost) to tears at one point.
Remembering Dee Brown’s book ‘Bury my heart at wounded knee’ gave the final part of the poem added poignancy for me.
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