REGINA – Regina’s Darke Hall will not stand dark or empty this fall. Do It With Class Young People’s Theatre and the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra’s theatrical and musical seasons will be at the historic theatre.
There are a lot of benefits for these young singers to perform here.
“The one thing that they’ll be able to do here is learn to use a theatrical voice without the enhancement of amplification,” explained Rob Ursan, Do It With Class (DIWC) artistic director.
This season, DIWC will be putting on four musicals, including Alice in Wonderland and The Threepenny Opera. Both will suit this historic setting.
“It is an incredible place. It is an incredible under-used place. It’s a place that I think should be used year round.”
“When you walk in here it looks like the 1920’s and 30’s – that kind of era. So it will be easier to get your mind in the time frame of the show,” said Charisma Taylor, 16 year-old DIWC senior performer.
Beyond that, performers like Taylor know they are helping to keep Darke Hall operating.
“Being young performers, when we get old, I’m sure many of us want to see young people have the same opportunities that we do. If we don’t have spaces like this than we can’t do that because they don’t have any places to perform,” Taylor said.
The University of Regina has begun its restoration of the College Avenue campus and Darke Hall, but there’s a way to go.
“We want to get feedback from potential future users, obviously they’re current users now too, but to ask the question: what does Darke Hall need?” said Brad Mahon, head of the University of Regina conservatory.
“Work needs to be done both on the stage with sight lines for the audience, a little better lighting, especially in the front here (and) a little better acoustics,” said Alan Denike, the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra music director.
Now that Do It With Class and the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra have made Darke Hall their permanent home, the hope is to also attract a bigger audience to this beloved space.
“It is an incredible place. It is an incredible under-used place. It’s a place that I think should be used year round,” said Ursan.