Small town life explored by REM

R.E. Mountain Secondary Grade 12 student Marika Laird is getting married on April 9 and again on April 10 and 11.

The girl who got into drama because of her shyness has the lead role of Emily in the R.E. Mountain Secondary production of Our Town.

“I used to be really shy,” she explained. “It’s nice to express myself. It’s [performing] made me a more confident person.”

Our Town is the period tale of the fictional town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, and lives of the people who live there, including George and the girl he eventually marries, Emily. The show spans the era from 1901 to 1913.

There’s the births and deaths, including Laird’s character, who dies giving birth to her second child. There’s young love and work, a burst appendix and sharing an ice cream soda – in other words, all the day-to-day activities and emotions of average folk.

Emily brings another wordly element to the show. After her death, she returns to relive one particular day – her 12th birthday – and learns the lesson about the value of life and cherishing it.

Laird said the biggest difference she sees between the era of this show and today is the role of the family. She said people seemed to value their families more and had more family obligations.

But she counters that women’s roles were more subservient. That won’t do for the young woman who plans on continuing her education to become a dietician.

Despite going into the workaday world, she won’t leave the arts altogether, doing acting on the side.

“I don’t plan to give [performing] up,” Laird said.

And come April 9, 10 and 11, she will be tieing the knot with fellow student Sam Maj, who plays George. They are backed up by a large cast and crew as they bring this tale to the stage. Tickets are $5 at the door or reserve some by calling the school at 604-888-3033. Showtime is 7 p.m.

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