Canyon Crest Academy’s Envision Theatre Arts Conservatory is performing two distinctly different fall shows this November and December: “Filters,” a cabaret created by students and “Five Farces” by Anton Chekhov.
“Filters – A Cabaret About Our True Selves and the Pop Songs that Define Us” runs Nov. 28 - 30 and “Five Farces” runs Dec. 7-15, both shows will be performed in the school’s intimate 100-seat Black Box Theatre.
“Filters”, directed by CCA guest artist Blake McCarty, was created by students from Envision Theatre Arts Conservatory and developed in collaboration with Blindspot Collective.
McCarty said it was an exciting opportunity for Blindspot Collective to work with an ensemble of “immensely talented young people” to develop the original performance.
“It was enlightening and empowering to hear students describe their own experiences and opinions, and a pure joy to think about what pop music might have an exciting connection to their perspective,” said McCarty. “The result is a show that includes music from an incredibly diverse array of artists—from Queen to Alanis Morissette and Ariana Grande to My Chemical Romance.”
“Filtering ourselves is something that everybody does on a daily basis, and some people do it so often that they lose touch with who they truly are,” said CCA senior Sofia Gartland, assistant director. “Through this cabaret, we’re hoping to shed some light on this issue and also show that being the most honest version of yourself is possible. Theatre Conservatory students chose the songs they’ll be performing, based on their personal experiences and their desire to tell their story. The result: a new level of vulnerability and truth.
“We hope our audiences will feel moved and compelled to be the most truthful version of themselves after experiencing ‘Filters.’”
One week later, “Five Farces” takes the stage. CCA Envision Theatre Arts Coordinator Jeannine Marquie directs “The Bear” and “The Proposal,” while CCA guest artist Skyler Sullivan directs “The Reluctant Tragic Hero” and “The Festivities”; Marquie and Sullivan co-direct the fifth farce “The Wedding Reception.” CCA Senior Magenta Brown serves as assistant director for Five Farces.
“I chose a season of more lighthearted pieces to find some joy and mirth in these difficult times,” said Marquie. “The purpose of farce is to provoke laughter and to enjoy human folly. These Chekhov pieces satirize major life events - such as weddings, marriage proposals and work celebrations - and allow us to laugh at the absurdity of characters who are taking things far too seriously. All of these pieces take the very basic human emotions tied in with love and family life and put them in a hysterical pressure cooker that is just waiting to explode - making them similar to real life, but with ridiculously funny outcomes.”
Sullivan has been in residence at CCA through a partnership with Diversionary Theatre since 2014. When asked what inspires him to return to CCA year after year, he said, “It’s because of the focus and drive of the students. They are dedicated and curious about the process of acting which makes my job as a teacher more interesting. Working on Chekhov with this age can be challenging, however, it is great text to chew through and teach the fundamentals of acting.”