Jukebox musical celebrates the work of Camrose students
A tale of matchmaking gone wrong, girl power, and finding true love, Emma the Musical is based on Jane Austen’s classic novel and features the hit songs of world-renowned girl groups and iconic female singers from The Supremes to Katy Perry.
From March. 2 to 7, About Time Productions is set to perform Emma the Musical at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre. “It’s a Jukebox musical, and there’s a lot of fun songs,” said Cathie Johnson, director of About Time. “We even have a kazoo chorus in ‘Straight Up’ by Paula Abdul.”
About Time Productions is a not for profit association and was founded by Johnson in 2005.
“I grew up in Leduc and joined a theatre school when I was five. When I moved to Camrose in high school at sixteen, there wasn’t anything that I was used to here. I didn’t feel like I belonged anymore,” said Johnson. “After I became an Augustana alum, I kept thinking that we needed something for kids in this town. In 2005, I thought, ‘let’s do it’.”
About Time Productions started with a three-week summer workshop and now alternates between popular named shows and less known unnamed shows. Currently in their fourteenth season, the team produces five shows per year, including two musicals, two dance drama shows, and the Grinch during the holidays.
About Time has students from Camrose, Wetaskiwin, and surrounding areas as far as Leduc involved in productions. “We have gained a good reputation,” said Johnson.
Many students continue with theatre after being involved with About Time.
“I have a student who started his own design studio in Toronto. I have students in theatre design at the U of A,” said Johnson. “One of my kids just graduated from Grant MacEwan. He is now a professional musical theatre actor and was hired by Alberta Opera. He’ll be performing at the Lougheed May 25.”
Johnson said that she’s happy that About Time is going far beyond Camrose. “People sometimes say, ‘it’s just a kids show’, and come out saying ‘wow that was so much better than I expected’,” said Johnson. “These kids are amazing.”
Emma the Musical isn’t a well-known show and Johnson has found it challenging to gain community interest. “I encourage students and community members to come see these kids. They’ve worked hard since September.”