A Fine Line drives the point home that societal divisions are never a good thing.
The Duncan Christian School play presented by the senior drama class at the elementary school gymnasium Thursday through Saturday drew large crowds for four performances. The students worked long and hard in rehearsal and that valuable time spent honing their skills showed in the final production.
Audiences loved it and you could tell the students were loving every minute of their time on stage as well, plus some time spent dancing in the aisles or hauling out a well-constructed douce coupe for one of the macho guys’ scenes and fitting of the late 1950s era depicted in the play.
Director and producer Greg Hollett, a Duncan Christian Elementary School Grade 5 teacher and Chemainus resident, had A Fine Line ready to hit the stage in April of 2020 but put it on hold due to COVID.
“The underlying message of this story is that there is ‘A Fine Line’ that runs between right and wrong,” Hollett pointed out.
That was illustrated in the play when Gwen, portrayed by Violette Muller, challenges Stanley, played by Corbyn Bird, to make the right choice.
“Too often we conform to the patterns of this world when we should have our minds transformed by truth,” Hollett added.
Whether it’s opposing sides in West Side Story or Grease, or in this case, the East Side greaser girls and boys and the rival West Side preppy girls and boys, the conflicts often are deep-rooted in communities without many of the proponents even knowing the reason for it.
A Fine Line mainly has a Grease type of vibe. It’s an era of slicked hair, fast cars and rock ‘n’ roll.
But never the twain shall meet for the greasers and the preppies until a new girl arrives in town. Annette (Sascha Spencer), a West Side preppy girl, draws the attention of Tony (Zack Neudorf), a greaser boy, and he falls for her hard.
Both Spencer and Neudorf, the ideal Tony greaser, are outstanding in their roles.
It takes a near-tragedy involving Annette to bring the two sides together. And, in the end, Tony also gets his girl.
The togetherness that ensues provides hope that no matter what your views and beliefs are, there is room to enjoy the company of other people who don’t necessarily feel the same way.
One of the characters, Georgina, played by Megan Monahan, is in memory of Hollett’s mom. This is the first time she hasn’t been there to see one of his plays.
Full marks to everyone in the cast for the range of singing, dancing and acting that comes together so well. Muller did a particularly superb solo rendition of ‘You Don’t Own Me.’
The group number, ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’, came at a significant time in the play and was very moving.
The students also contributed to the sets, costumes, props and lighting that provided the complete experience. So many others associated with DCS chipped in an inordinate amount of time for set design, construction and more. Kudos to head carpenter James Baines and pianist and vocal coach Sheri Atsma for their efforts.
As Hollett said in his introductions, there’s so many people to thank, all deserving of recognition, and that hard work paid off with a memorable production. These students will be talking about it for years to come.
A Fine Line could easily have played on a larger stage and still made as much of an impact. It was that good.