It made him more aware of what it means to be an actor. He learned to act, mime, sing, and even dance.

“It’s been fun to try dancing, which I have never done before,” says Raymond Crocker. “He is a good dancer,” adds Tara Reddick.

Students in Neptune Theatre’s Pre-Professional Training Program, the two are about to see the curtain raise on their stage debut.


They, along with their 10 classmates, are appearing in the play Lilly Alta. — their final project after completing the eight-month Neptune Theatre School program.

“He keeps to himself in some ways,” Crocker said about his role, Willy, who is one of the main characters in the play.

“He is a librarian and is kind of shy.”

Set in Alberta in the 1950s, the story is about two lovers trying to free themselves from the watchful eye of the town matriarch, Mrs. Lilly.

The musical drama was written by Alberta playwright Kenneth Dyba.

“It’s described as a classic piece of Canadian magic-realism,” said director Alex McLean.
“It’s kind of like Our Town meets Deliverance.”

He said this play was a great selection for the pre-professional production because there are a number of interesting characters in the story.

They actually had to cut back from the original 18 roles to 12 — one for each student.

“There is a lot of juicy stuff for the actors. It is not a play where there are just three good parts and the rest are shabby,” he says.

“There is something with meat on it for everybody. It is a great show for students.”

This is McLean’s first time working with the pre-professional students and said it has been a great experience.

“These guys have been well-trained,” he says.

“It’s always exciting to see people at the beginning of their careers. There is all that enthusiasm. They are not jaded yet.”

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