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Dartmouth gets drama

Since her first step from behind the curtain at age four, Susie Keating has been at home on the stage.

Since her first step from behind the curtain at age four, Susie Keating has been at home on the stage. Keating is a performer at Dartmouth Player’s, the community theatre that still refuses to be shaken from its roots as a true amateur group.

“It is easy to feel overshadowed by the big guys on the other side of the harbour,” she said. “But we provide fantastic, affordable theatre and a place for those who want to contribute.”

Although Dartmouth Player’s has been around for about 25 years, its roots date back to 1957 as the Dartmouth Drama Club.

Current president of Dartmouth Players, Eric Jordan, has been involved with the group for nine years.

He says community theatre offers something different to everyone.

“Whether it is building sets, acting or being a stage hand, everyone is vital,” he said. “And it teaches us to be responsible to our community, in a way.”

A new infusion of performers and supporters have been injected into Dartmouth Players over the past few years with the introduction of Susie Keating’s performance dance school, Upstage Studios.

Her students often volunteer at Dartmouth Player’s and share space with the group in the Crichton Avenue building.

She said once the public school system stopped providing detailed arts programs she knew she had to start her own school. She said the invaluable self worth she gained by her years of dancing and performing helped her navigate through life.

The little mouse of 1966 has grown into an actor, dancer and now a teacher.

“I remember singing through asthma, replacing actors at that last minute and croaking on the high notes,” she said.

“But Dartmouth Players is quality theatre and brings us closer together as a community in Dartmouth.

“You always get the passion and dedication we all have for this group. We love it.”

 
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