Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lennette Randall: Graduate, Rosebud School of the Arts

I've changed the title of this post because spam-commenters were attracted by the name of the tree in the title of the play. The rest of the post is unchanged.

Childhood stories told under an African mango tree are reborn and retold in Lennette Randall’s play Under the Mango Tree.

Directed by Nathan Schmidt, Lennette stars with Conrad Belau -- both of them graduating students at Rosebud School of the Arts -- in Under the Mango Tree this weekend, culminating Lennette's four years of study.

Twyla traps Danny under the Mango Tree (photo credit: Neil Bousquet)
Hilarious-then-heart-rending, the story is of two college students, Twyla (Lennette) and Danny (Conrad), vying for a private place under their favorite tree, where they like to play, work, and process life.

From Twyla’s making siren noises while cycling onto the outdoor set, to catching Danny in a trap, to Danny’s rooster re-enactment and mimicking of African dance, these two display a knack for making people laugh. We audience members giggled and chuckled throughout the first act. Then the story turns serious, for Lennette’s memories of Africa are not all happy ones.

Through dance and music, laughter and tears, Under the Mango Tree shows us the antagonism-turned-friendship between Twyla and Danny. But its message goes deeper – challenging us to trust God and keep praying, even when He doesn’t answer in the way we think He should.
I hope some of you will get to see the remaining performance of Under the Mango Tree – Sunday, September 2 at 1 pm in Rosebud, Alberta, under the labyrinth tree behind Rosebud Church. (Rosebud is a small community. Ask anyone in the village for directions.) Tickets are $12. Additional donations are accepted for the tuition of students in Sierra Leone and The Gambia.

I’m honored to watch Lennette Randall and Conrad Belau perform early in their careers, and I look forward to seeing God work in and through them in the years to come.

With Conrad Belau, Lennette Randall and my friend Brenda (on right)
My next post, on Sunday, September 2, 2012, will tell you more about Lennette herself.

-- Reenie

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