Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Golden silence strikes students

Adam Johnson
Northern News Services

Fort McPherson (Apr 24/06) - A recent play in Fort McPherson was a chance for students to flex their dramatic muscles - muscles they didn't even know they had, according to director Mike Carroll.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Wade Vaneltsi, left, and Jocelyn Blake steal the show in "Silence is Golden." The classic folk tale was performed as a play by Chief Julius school students in Fort McPherson last week. - photo courtesy of Mike Carroll

"The students accomplished something you don't see very often here," said the Chief Julius school math teacher.

He said the play, called "Silence is Golden," was the first production the school had put on in nearly four years, and that drama was very foreign to many of the students.

"When they started off, I couldn't get them to move," he said.

But they soon picked it up, he said, learning the basics of acting, as well as a vareity of skills in set design, costuming and teamwork.

The play was part of the Career Technology Studies fine arts program that Chief Julius offers to its students as an elective course. Aside from learning some practical skills, Carroll hoped the play would help build confidence and encourage more open expression among the students.

"There's a lot of potential with the kids here," he said. "They just need people to help them in the right direction."

Carroll wrote the play from memory, based on the traditional ballad "Get up and Bar the Door." It follows the age-old tale of the angry married couple engaged in a silence contest to determine who has to get up and close the door. When two men enter the house to torment the husband, hilarity ensues.

"The kids put a lot into it," and received a good response in turn, he said of the play.

Carroll, who taught drama and English in Newfoundland for 15 years before coming to Fort Mcpherson in 2002, said he hopes plays become a regular part of student life at the school, starting with next year's class.

"This might set a trend for the younger kids," he said. "It's something that can definitely be built upon."

"They did something very special for the community," he said.

Carroll credited this year's batch of students for the play's success, as their enthusiasm kept the production afloat.

"They were a great class," he said.