By Miriam Jang and Catherine Wang
With winter festivities in full gear and the holiday season nearing closer every day, Alpha's Theatre and Dance Companies continued the annual tradition of their Dessert Theatre and Variety Night. The event showcases the talents of Alpha’s Theatre Company, featuring improv games, monologues, and skits, with an additional performance from the Dance Team. The overall production resulted in two fantastic nights of acting, laughter, dancing, and holiday spirit.
Unlike previous years, this year's production was held in the cafeteria and the ambiance of the newly renovated space was transformed for the nights. Audience members were invited to enjoy various treats and refreshments, provided by members of the Theatre Company. Before the show, attendees were serenaded by a live band, performing festive carols.
Once the atmosphere was set, the lights darkened and the show began. Family, friends, and Alpha theatre alumni took their seats to enjoy the works and performances of the Theatre and Dance companies. Some came to support siblings or family, others simply attended because they missed being a part of the theatre company themselves. For many, this wasn't their first time coming to dessert theatre, but for many returning Alpha graduates, this was an opportunity to view the show without the stress of having to perform. A couple of favourite acts included the Dating Game, in which each “contestant” had to personify a real-life celebrity, chosen by the audience; the Holiday monologues, where students memorized lengthy scripts and impressed all with their acting; and musical interludes, such as “City of Stars” from La La Land, performed by Mahon Yousefi and Paniz Najjarrezaparast, “Novels” by Rusty Clanton, performed by Danika Jones, and “Sick of Losing Soulmates” by Dodie Clark, performed by Alice Wong and Julia Ramsey.
Moreover, the usual competitive atmosphere during acts was enhanced by a “rivalry” between the two drama teachers, Ms. Temple and Ms. Stewart. Ms. Temple being the leader of the Green Team, and Ms. Stewart, as leader of the Red. Select audience members had the thrilling role of judging and ultimately deciding which improv team won the show.
Green Team won both nights, just squeezing by on the second night due to penalty points deducted from the Red Team. Nonetheless, the competitive spirit only seemed to add to the energy of the night.
However, Desert Theatre is not just about winning; in fact, many theatre members hold this event extremely close to their heart. Maja Grandinetti, a Grade 10 theatre student, and drama representative says “To me, desert theatre is so much more than ‘just a show’, it’s an opportunity to bond with everyone else in the theatre. It’s incredible the bonds that have been created through improv, through expressing you [creatively] on stage. You’re working together through simply the idea of ‘not saying no’, it’s remarkable how close you become with your fellow actors, and of course, the production, who make it all possible.” Dessert Theatre will continue to be an annual mark of community, festive gaiety, and eternal friendships, for many years to come.