Claremont students bring small-town America to the Saanich stage

Claremont Secondary students prepare for the opening night of their winter play, One Stoplight Town. (Courtesy of Colin Plant)Claremont Secondary students prepare for the opening night of their winter play, One Stoplight Town. (Courtesy of Colin Plant)
Claremont Secondary students are set to perform One Stoplight Town Dec.1-3 and Dec.8-10. (Courtesy of Colin Plant)Claremont Secondary students are set to perform One Stoplight Town Dec.1-3 and Dec.8-10. (Courtesy of Colin Plant)
The District of Saanich helped the crew get a working stoplight to bring the show to life. (Courtesy of Colin Plant)The District of Saanich helped the crew get a working stoplight to bring the show to life. (Courtesy of Colin Plant)

A Saanich high school is asking theater-goers to look beyond the surface with a play about an unassuming town adjusting to change.

One Stoplight Town, by Tracey Wells, takes the audience on a ride through a small community where locals are struggling with the seasons of life, from high school to mid-life, everyone in this play is confronting change.

“The kids are working so hard,” said Colin Plant, Claremont Secondary School drama teacher who is directing the play. “It’s the first time that I’m aware of a school in the region performing it.”

While Plant said their performing arts program is not quite back to where it was pre-COVID, he hopes that people will take some time out of their busy holiday schedules to attend.

“This play is about this small, American, could-be-anywhere town, where a stoplight is installed and how that has an impact on the people that live there,” he said.

Plant said the play is appropriate for all ages and is a light-hearted and funny take on the difficulties that come with growth, with the installation of the stoplight as both a catalyst for change and a backdrop for new experiences in the town.

“We can all identify with the idea of how change is hard for both big and small towns,” he said. “Change is a part of life and this play is a great way to teach the kids that.”

The production, which is just one of the many that Claremont Secondary School has put on in the past years, involves 14 actors, 16 stage crew and nearly 50 members of the school that helped build the set.

The kids have been working to make the show a reality since mid-September.

“We have a history of really having a vibrant fine arts program,” said Plant. “It’s a real neat experience. We get to do costumes, posters and it is a learning experience.”

It also has a unique bit of the community at the heart of the show: a real, working stoplight from the District of Saanich.

“They were so willing to help us, so we actually have a working stoplight on our stage,” Plant said. “We had to put some gel on it because it’s so bright.”

The show is a part of the student’s curriculum for a course that teaches the ins-and-outs of theater production.

Claremont High School’s winter play will show Dec.1-3 and Dec.8-10,at 7:30 p.m. at the Ridge Playhouse. All tickets will be $10 at the door.

READ MORE: Belmont students aim to hit the perfect notes at winter concert


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