Dover Bay students stage play with orchestra

NANAIMO – Dover Bay Secondary School student production of Guys and Dolls includes 30-piece orchestra.

A missionary who falls in love with a gambler.

That is the theme of this year’s student-led musical production at Dover Bay Secondary School.

Dover Bay Theatrix presents the student-run production of the 1950 Broadway musical Guys and Dolls. The production features 32 student performers along with a 30-piece orchestra.

“I hope people come and see it,” said drama teacher Ward Norcutt. “This school is the only school in our district that plays a musical with a full orchestra.”

Guys and Dolls – the musical-turned-movie in 1955, which featured Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando – is based on the characters from Damon Runyon’s The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown.

Set in New York during the 1940s, the musical revolves around Sarah Brown, a missionary, who eventually falls in love with a slick gambler.

With more than 80 students helping to run the play this year, Norcutt said the students have been hard at work for months.

“It’s a mad dash right from the beginning,” Norcutt said. “In regular working theatre you have the director, the production manager, the choreographer and the set designer. But when you’re the drama teacher you’re all those roles.”

Not only does Norcutt want the audience members to be engaged but he also wants them to walk away thinking a little differently about the production.

“I want them going away thinking that was a really good show, not thinking that was a really good show for a high school show,” Norcutt said.

“I don’t want to have that little disclaimer at the end. I want people going away saying, ‘man that was a good show.’”

Guys and Dolls runs Dec. 9-13 at Dover Bay Secondary School. Doors 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15; $10/students and seniors.