By: Edward Wang and Leo YinHave you read any books by Charlotte Gingras? Her amazing novel Emily’s Piano was made into a play by the Young People’s Theatre (YPT) which created a chance for many actors/actresses. Directed by Mark Cassidy with the cast of: Heather Marie Anas (Emily’s mother), Hillary Carroll (Emily), Mary MacLean (Twin 2), Ginette Mohr (Twin 1) and Christopher Sawchyn (Dad). It was part of YPT’s goal to study the mental illness of young people.
It is about a nine year old girl whose family is splitting up. Her dad has a new girlfriend, her sisters are crazy and her mother won’t stop painting everything gold to keep her mind off the things happening around them. Emily figures the only way to prevent this is to find the piano that her dad sold.
The play started with a dramatic scene of the cast taking apart the piano and the mom trying to save it. All actors moved flawlessly.
The lighting worked very well with the play; it was one of the major things that made it interesting, making the dramatic parts more dramatic. When Emily was talking to the audience, there would be a spotlight on her only. When she was talking to other people in the play, it would put others into the scene. The way the dreams appeared was very cool, and when the evil spirits came out, it was all dark, with only the spirits lighting up, which makes the atmosphere creepy. Once Emily found the piano, it was all bright and dreamy. It made people feel so happy.
The main character was Emily who went on a heroic adventure to save her family. With such a strong soul, she takes every risk. She even lied to her mom, just to let it be like before ─ when everything was perfect and nothing was disturbed.
Hillary Carrol was awesome at being the main character. She has a loud voice, many expressions and an uplifting spirit. “Emily is so strong and smart, and I would have a hard time going on that journey; I don’t think I would be as good as her,” said Hillary when we asked if she would do what Emily did in real life.
Heather Marie Anas did a great job as the mother. All her sad emotions looked real. “The most difficult part of my role was that it was really sad,” said Heather. “It’s good to feel sad sometimes in life. When you feel it, you have to honour it, and acknowledge it because those are things that everybody feels sometimes. But when you’re doing an impression like the mom, it’s really sad a lot of times. So it was really important to me to know how to let those emotions go after rehearsal.” Heather experienced a similar situation as Emily when she was a kid, so her personal connection to the play helped her to understand her role.
The twins were awesome being the sisters who would make Emily do all the chores and change babies’ diapers. The dad’s acting was great. He was so unresponsive and irresponsible for anything that is happening to the family.
The play tells you to take action like Emily did instead of just giving up like her mother did. When you are in a hard situation, don’t just give up. Persevere and follow what you think is right. Follow the path to victory.
“I like this play because it is well put and I liked how it changed from part to part,” said Ducolon Banville, a boy in the audience. “The best part was the deconstruction of the piano because it was dramatic!”
This play is recommended for ten years and above. However, we think any age is okay because there aren’t any bad words or inappropriate parts. There isn’t any violence or killing either, the only thing though is that the dad smokes.
And finally, if we were to give it a score, it would be 9.5 out of 10 because of its sadness but besides that, it was awesome!