It was, ahem, perhaps the hottest show at the drama zones festival in Terrace in late February.
The performance, called Conflagration (which means an all-consuming fire, or one that may burn within you), is performed by two Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School (MEMSS) students.
Mackenzie Mathews plays Julia, the play’s storyteller who recounts her tale of guilt following a devastating house fire that she may have caused.
Playing her friend is Chelsea Bossence, who helps her deal with her feelings.
“I play everything that she’s talking about,” said Chelsea.
One of the most notable aspects of the pair’s performances is that the entire play is choreographed in such a way that both Mackenzie and Chelsea mirror each other’s motions throughout the play.
“We have these long strings of movements we’ve both memorized,” said Mackenzie. “We have to be in rhythm for the entire show.”
Their work paid off in dividends. The performance netted both performers an outstanding performance in a lead role award from the Zones.
The performance also took an outstanding backstage ensemble award.
To top it off, they won a “fun” award for Greatest Gizmos, which was to honour the single black cape that was used interchangeably to represent various costume items.
The show will hit the road for the Sears BC Drama Provincials on May 3, to be held in New Westminster.
The challenge was huge to put on this performance in Terrace. The pair were hot off the heels of the Into the Woods production the school put on, and overestimated how much prep time they’d have.
In fact, they had ended up having 12 days to read, rehearse, and get their performance down pat.
“We had not memorized our lines,” said Chelsea.
That meant for 12 days straight the pair rehearsed and prepared, sacrificing their free time and even meals to get the show going.
“The dedication I’ve seen from these two, I’ve never seen,” said Rick Jones, the school drama teacher. “The amount of hours they’ve put in to make this thing what it is is really, really commendable.”
That being the case, he’s intentionally forced them to take a little break from the performance after their win.
“We purposely haven’t let them rehearse at all since we finished zones,” he said.