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Tuni-Mary Josephie and Derrick Gibbons played Scrooge's nephew, Fred, and his wife, Peg, with house guest Bridgette Tattuinee, far right, in the Arviat production of A Christmas Carol. - photo courtesy of Gord Billard

Students bring down the house

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Arviat (Jan 10/05) - The Qitiqliq High Music and Drama Club continued its four-year run of top-notch productions in Arviat this past month with its second rendition of the Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol.

The club first performed the tale of the miserly Scrooge in 2000, drama teacher Gord Billard's first year on staff at Qitiqliq High.

Billard says the theatre is as vibrant in Arviat now as it was four years ago.

"There's still a lot of interest in the theatre here, especially with the younger kids who have just come into the school during the past year or two," says Billard.

"I thought this year's play would be more of a senior production, as far as the ages of the kids involved, but about 75 per cent of my performers were from the school's junior classes."

Billard says it seems the closer students get to their final two years of school, the less they want to be on stage.

He attributes the change in attitude to students becoming more aware of themselves as budding adults.

"For a lot them, it's not cool to act anymore," Billard told Nunavut News/North.

"I've found, during the number of years I've been doing this, junior high kids are the ones I have the most success with in acting and getting them on stage to perform.

"They have fewer inhibitions and more of an adventurous spirit.

"They want to be the centre of attention up on the stage."

Billard says the community's level of interest in attending the productions remains high. He says both this year's Christmas performances drew well, with the second being a sold-out house.

"The community still loves to come out to our productions.

Lots of fun, praise

"There's still lots of laughs during the performances and lots of praise for the students once the shows are over," said the drama teacher.

"I haven't seen any decline in interest on either side of the fence, really, whether it be the students who want to act or the community members who want to come out and see it."