Seaway Valley Theatre Company (SVTC) is preparing to amaze children and adults with their unique adaptation of Rowena Bennett’s family play, Puss in Boots, with opening night on July 7. This is a special summer treat for the whole family, since SVTC usually puts on one kid’s show per year in December.
Puss in Boots is based on the original 18th century fairy tale during which, “The indomitable Puss acquires a pair of magic boots belonging to an evil, shape shifting ogre. He uses them (and his wits) to bring fortune, an enchanted castle, and a princess bride to his beloved master, Jack, whom he fashions as the Marquis of Carabas as part of his clever scheme.”
Puss in Boots features a cast of 12 children ranging in age from 10 to 17. The cast is made up of a diverse group of seasoned actors and newcomers. Four-time SVTC director, Paul Aubin, told Seaway News that this is his first time directing a children’s play.
“This has been a massive learning experience for me,” Aubin shared, “Every project I do I try to learn something new and do something different and this has been my biggest challenge yet. I hope I’ve risen to it.”
Aubin has certainly risen to the challenge in terms of making the production his own. Bennett’s Puss in Boots features lyrics, but no musical direction, throughout the play with the exception of one song. The character that plays Puss sings his own lyrics to the melody of I Had a Little Nut Tree about four or five times during the script. The rest of the lyrics are left open-ended.
“I had the idea, why don’t we just set some musical accompaniment to this? We approached the publishing company for clarification of this because the stage directions were so vague and long story short, they said if it’s in italics go for it,” said Aubin, “I’ve written about 25 pieces of incidental music to be played in the show. All pre-recorded, electronic, very 80s synth pop, 2000s synth wave. But it’s very happy music. It’s in no way dark or brooding or anything like that, it’s very much geared towards children.”
“I’m really grateful for that degree or artistic freedom. It’s really been a joy to not just put my own stamp on this but just to be able to add to the creative process,” he added.
The play is produced by Peter Labelle, who in addition to being SVTC’s First Vice President is very active in the community with the Rotary Club and other organizations. The talented Amanda Marini-Rohde is doing the choreography.
Puss in Boots will have two evening shows on July 7 and 14, 2023 at 7:00 PM, as well as afternoon shows on July 8, 9, 15 and 16, 2023 at 1:30 PM. Performances will take place at the Seaway Valley Theatre, 30 Sixth Street East, Cornwall, Ontario. For more info, please visit https://www.svtc.ca/pussinboots.html.