Locals land roles in ‘Rent’

Heather Latter

There are plenty of talented young adults in Fort Frances—and even when they move away, they often continue to showcase their talents in their new locations.
That’s exactly what Annelise Hawrylak, Sarah Hallikas, and Trevor and Scott Barker are doing while living in Brandon, Man.
Beginning tomorrow, the foursome will be acting, singing, and dancing across the stage in the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning musical “Rent,” which is about Bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggling with life, love, and AIDS and the impacts they have on America.
Presented by 7 Ages Productions, the musical will run Oct. 22-25 at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium in Brandon, and then again Oct. 30-31 at the Gas Station Theatre in Winnipeg.
There are two different casts of the show, with Trevor Barker playing the lead role of “Mark Cohen” while his younger brother, Scott, takes on a role in the company.
Meanwhile, Hawrylak and Hallikas will be sharing the role of “Joanne Jefferson.”
“I had to audition because it’s a ‘dream show’ of mine,” noted Trevor Barker. “The day that I found out I got the part was one of the happiest days of my life. . . .
“I love the character so much because he’s a struggling artist in New York [and] I assume that some day I will be a struggling performer in a bigger centre such as Toronto or Vancouver or New York.
“Also, the character is really quirky so it’s been a lot of fun preparing,” Barker added.
He admitted rehearsals have been hectic because they have been practising for less than two months, where a previous production took five months to prepare.
“So it hasn’t been easy to learn and memorize, but luckily we have an extremely talented cast who are very dedicated,” he noted.
Barker indicated he feels ready for the performances as the regular rehearsals came to an end.
“I am so excited for opening night,” he enthused. “I enjoy performing so much because it gives me the opportunity to understand and be someone else.
“Also, I wouldn’t consider myself a confident person, but on stage I feel unstoppable and outgoing.
“And performing and interacting with an audience is such a rush.”
Tickets are still available at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium (1-204-728-9510) if anyone is interested in seeing the show in Brandon.
Or if people would prefer to see the Winnipeg shows, they can purchase their tickets at the Gas Station Theatre (1204-284-9477) or from McNally Robinson (1-204-475-0483).
“If you plan on coming to see all of the Devlin and Fort Frances people, you may want to come twice,” Barker advised since the four locals will not be performing in the same cast.