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Summerland students to stage Anastasia

The musical is based on the animated film inspired by the historical events
Scarlett Bloom, left, as Anastasia and Lily Keys as the dowager empress are among the actors who will be in Summerland Secondary School’s production of Anastasia. The musical will be staged later this month. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

A story based in Russian history is the basis for a musical which will be staged in Summerland later this month.

Summerland Secondary School drama students will stage Anastasia, a musical about the disappearance of Tsar Nicholas’s daughter, Anastasia.

The story begins in 1916, near the end of the Romanov family’s dynasty and around a year before the 1917 Russian Revolution. It resumes a decade later, when Russia is firmly under communist rule. While actual historical events form the backdrop to this story, the play is not a historical production.

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The musical was first staged in 2016 and is based on the 1997 animated film, Anastasia.

Heather Ayris, drama teacher at Summerland Secondary School, said around 70 students are involved in the production, including 12 graduating students. The students involved with the production include actors and people working with lights, sound and other components of the production.

Ayris said the result will be a professional production of this musical.

The play has involved a lot of effort from the school’s drama department. The play was chosen in May and Ayris held auditions in June. Rehearsals began in September.

Ayris said she and the students fell in love with the story from the beginning. She added that the musical is ideal for this year’s drama students as there are plenty of strong singers in the cast.

Lily Keys, who plays the dowager empress in the musical, said the historical basis for the story is part of its appeal.

“It’s a beautiful story with a really beautiful ending,” she said.

Scarlett Bloom, who plays Anastasia, said the high school’s theatre program has been a good experience for her.

“It’s been the best four years of my life,” she said.

Proceeds from the ticket sales will go to assist people affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The play will be staged Feb. 15 to 18 and Feb. 22 to 25. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show will start at 7 p.m. each evening. Tickets are available at the Summerland Secondary School office.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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