Theatre isn’t just about the actors on stage. And while Moving Parts Theatre concentrates on methods and techniques for its players, it also provides community members with important roles behind the scenes.
Balancing school work and rehearsals is Wren Hookey’s latest priority.
The 17-year-old high school student just began her fourth year with the popular Music, Arts and Drama (MAD) program.
Plus, she’s been an active member of Moving Parts for a couple of years.
As if final exams weren’t enough, Hookey has taken on another sort of study – the role of stage manager for Moving Parts’ production of Julius Caesar.
“I decided it was worth it just to try something different, like a different aspect of theatre, because I don’t know if it’s acting that I really want to go into when I’m older,” she says.
Director and Moving Parts founder, Anton Solomon, asked Hookey if she’d be willing to switch gears this time around.
And while she was apprehensive at first about the heavy time commitment, she saw it as the perfect opportunity to expand her theatrical resumé.
“It’s great to have this opportunity, and I never really imagined that it would happen.
“I never thought that I’d be asked to do something like this,” she says with a smile.
“If I ever want to go into directing, I think this will be a big asset because I get to sit with Anton as he’s directing. I see what he does to place people and then think about what he’s doing.”
From creating contact lists, to scribbling down the blocking for scenes and eventually calling light and sound cues for each performance, Hookey has a steady flow of tasks. When asked if this mirrors her personal organization skills, she chuckles.
“I’d like to think so,” she says under her breath.
It’s easy to tell by her enthusiasm that Hookey is dedicated to the stage.
And her recent acceptance letter into the University of Winnipeg’s theatre and film program demonstrates it isn’t something she’s bound to give up on anytime soon.
“I think I was born with it,” Hookey explains of her love for theatre.
“See, I’m a shy person, but I feel this attachment to it.
“I think it’s part of the fact that everyone works together to make something.
“I just always felt a need to do it, even though I was shy, but I’ve kind of gotten over the shyness more and more.”
Grade 9 was the beginning.
Hookey says her involvement in the MAD program led her to a variety of prospects, from Moving Parts Theatre, to working with the National Artists Program and Longest Night productions.
It also confirmed for her that being a part of the theatrical world was much more than a hobby.
Moving Parts workshops have provided Hookey with a plethora of acting techniques, but now she says she’s learning what else there is to it.
Plus, there’s a bonus to being behind the scenes of a Shakespeare production.
“I don’t have to memorize lines. That’s nice, you know, a little bit of pressure off there,” she says laughing.
“But it’s always interesting.
“It’s kind of a discovery process with Shakespeare. With modern-day texts there is a slight discovery process, but it’s not about what the words mean.
“With Shakespeare, it’s more like ‘what does he mean with that metaphor’ and that sort of thing.”
In only a number of months, Hookey will be on to even more discoveries – exploring acting, directing, screenwriting and film in Winnipeg.
However, her theatre life in Whitehorse has already given her a head start.
“Really it’s done everything,” she says. “I’m not the same person, I can definitely say that.”
Moving Parts Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar runs from Feb. 11 to 14; and 17 to 21 at 8 p.m. at Wood Street Centre. Tickets are available at Well-Read Books and at the door.