Take some mystery, add a dollop of disaster, a serving of silliness and a healthy heaping of humour and there you have it — what to expect in BVG Players’ upcoming production.
“We wanted something a little different than was possible these past couple of years,” says Matthew Clark, Producing Director. “We wanted something light-hearted that we could connect to and were interested in more challenging sets, in particular,” says Mr. Clark who is also Department Head, Curriculum: Upper School English.
The 60-member cast and crew of students is set to perform The Play That Goes
Wrong (High School Edition) on February 23 and 24th in Bayview Glen School’s J.T.M. Guest Theatre at Moatfield Campus. (Tickets Here)
The1920’s whodunit piece will first be performed in front of fellow students, followed by a pair of evening shows for family members, friends and the BVG school community.
The production is the crowning achievement of a journey that began almost 12 months ago.
“In March of 2022, Mr. Clark started the Play Reading Committee where we individually read and shared plays we thought would be fun to put on for the following year,” recounts Katie Bhalla, Grade 12 student and Head of Props for this year’s show. “About once a month, we met and discussed the pros and cons of what production we were reading. Eventually we narrowed it down to a couple options, and after a lot of discussion with department leads and actors, we decided on The Play That Goes Wrong.”
It marks the third time Katie has been involved in a BVG Players’ production.
“The sets and props aspect of this play is very different than the previous productions I have been a part of,” she says. “As the show progresses, the set begins to fall apart and things grow more and more chaotic, so building a dynamic set was an exciting challenge for us to tackle. There were lots of props used which meant that we had to get creative when sourcing them, and we even made a few items like the cardboard barometer and the shield,” she says.
“It’s the play that goes wrong, so if we do everything right, everything will go wrong,” adds Mr. Clark. “From lines to cues to set pieces and props, every aspect of this production will go wrong at some point or another. It has a far more complex set than any other production I remember us doing.”
Like many of the cast and crew, planning, practices and the play process began when school started in September and has rarely stopped since.
“We began calling crews in for rehearsals twice a week after school in November and December, and as we got closer to the actual performance date, rehearsals were three times a week until 6pm,” says Katie. “We also had rehearsals on Saturdays that started just before the winter break.”
Many additional hours are also spent learning lines, developing characters and tweaking production elements.
For Mr. Clark, who has been involved in BVG Players’ productions in some capacity for almost 15 years, this year’s play offered new learnings, on different levels, for all involved.
“It’s a farce so there is a lot of physical comedy,” he says. “Specialists from Rapier Wit provided an introduction to stage combat and focused on doing everything safely for all involved. They also helped with fight direction, since there’s a swordfight, characters trip and drag and throw others around – but don’t worry, it’s all stage fighting so it looks more realistic than it is!”
In addition to many of the unique attributes of this production, the process of more than five months of focused and dedicated effort has also been memorable.
“What really stands out to me is just how much everyone loves being a part of it,” says Katie. “The actors are so into the production — there hasn’t been one rehearsal where I don’t hear someone laughing, and the backstage crew are such hard workers.”
A worthwhile journey filled with new learnings.
“I won’t lie and say that being a part of the play isn’t tiring sometimes, and you will likely have to make some sacrifices, but seeing all the work you put in come to life on the production day is really worth it,” shares Katie. “You’ll most certainly make new friends from different grades, and the collaboration and leadership experience you gain is truly valuable.”