Rebound theatre program presents ‘Little Princess’ at Imperial Theatre

Program designed to help promote mental wellness using music and theatre

Rebound ACT II alumni and current program mentor Jonathan Lawrence belts out a musical number during a recent performance at Germain Park, as part of the Music in the Gardens concert series.

The halls of Sarnia-Lambton Rebound have echoed all summer with song, laughter and a few screams.

For the seventh consecutive year the social service agency has offered its ACT II theatre program free to youth aged 8-24. The program was designed to bolster local services, using music and theatre to promote mental wellness.

“It’s a completely youth-created, youth-driven program,” says Program Coordinator Sara Ireland.

That means youth take control of every aspect of the production, including stage direction, acting, backstage, props and more.

The agency is able to provide the program free of charge to upwards of 100 youth each summer thanks to donations, ticket sales, and foundation grants.

Their opening night performance of A Little Princess is set for Thursday, Sept. 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Imperial Theatre. Subsequent shows are 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 9 and 10, as well as a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Sept. 10.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Rebound ACT II presents A Little Princess

WHERE: Imperial Theatre

WHEN: Sept. 8, 9, and 10, 7:30 p.m. nightly, plus 2 p.m. Saturday matinee

TICKETS: $12, available at www.imperialtheatre.net, calling (519) 344-7469 or at the Imperial Theatre box office.

The show details the riches to rags tale of young Sarah Crewe, who makes the best of a poor situation through adventure and imagination. Based on one of the best-ever-selling children’s novels, it focuses on themes of resiliency and overcoming obstacles, and is full of lively music and dancing.

Rebound ACT II alumnus Samantha Regan showcases her musical chops during a performance this week at the Music in the Gardens concert series at the Germain Park gardens.
Rebound ACT II alumnus Samantha Regan showcases her musical chops during a performance this week at the Music in the Gardens concert series at the Germain Park gardens.

“Every night leading up to it has been an adventure,” says Ireland. “It gets chaotic at times but the youth know when to pull things together and everyone is so supportive of one another.”

The program utilizes the talent of several adult allies, many of whom volunteer their time in a supportive role for the youth.

Lambton College’s Richard Teskey was one of the creators of the program. A college instructor in the Child and Youth Worker Program, Teskey also has an extensive theatre background.

“From my ongoing interaction with the ACT II project I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact the program has had on the children and youth of the Sarnia-Lambton community,” he said.

“I am pleased to see that educating, engaging, and empowering youth continue to be realized outcomes of this inclusive, dynamic project.”

Some of the program’s alumni have gone on to professional theatre careers, with others currently enrolled in post-secondary theatre studies.

ACT II is currently undergoing a research study through Lambton College to add to the body of knowledge about vulnerable youth, and what prevention supports that theatre provides as a protective factor in a young person’s life.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Rebound ACT II presents A Little Princess

WHERE: Imperial Theatre

WHEN: Sept. 8, 9, and 10, 7:30 p.m. nightly, plus 2 p.m. Saturday matinee

TICKETS: $12, available at www.imperialtheatre.net, calling (519) 344-7469 or at the Imperial Theatre box office.

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