PAGE presents 'The Canterbury Tales' and 'Nobody Famous' Feb 23-26
Composed mostly of local residents ages 10 to 68, the Performing Arts Group of Estacada (PAGE) will present its annual production beginning Thursday night. The show starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday afternoon, all at the Estacada Auditorium.
The main attraction is 'The Canterbury Tales' directed by Peter Hamer, which also is known as 'Geoffrey Chaucer's Flying Circus.'
Hamer, who has been directing for PAGE for six years, was in a couple of plays in high school, but fell away from drama after joining the Navy.
Years later, after retiring, Hamer was asked by a friend to help with lighting with one of PAGE's performances. Twelve months later he was the new director.
'I didn't even know how,' he joked. 'But now I feel like it's the most satisfying thing I've ever done.'
Hamer described this performance as a cross between Geoffrey Chaucer and Monty Python, full of plenty of laughter.
Each year, PAGE reviews a list of plays and this year, 'Canterbury Tales' was the popular choice. Last year, the selection was 'Pride and Prejudice.'
Troy Williams and Ira Kammerman are two of the leads in the play, as Williams plays Harry Bailey, the host of the tales, while Kammerman plays Chaucer.
'Both have been in our plays before,' Hamer said. 'This year, though, we also have 13 kids under the age of 13, and that has brought and interesting kind of energy.'
One of the children involved is 12-year-old Ciara Schwimmer, a sixth-grader at Clackamas River Elementary. Fueled by a passion for directing, Schwimmer was the assistant director for last year's production.
This year, however, she gets to direct her own play.
'Nobody Famous' is a 20-minute performance that will take place just before 'Canterbury Tales' and features a cast of strictly kids.
'I've been with PAGE for three years, and this year I wanted to try something bigger,' she said. 'Things are going really good now, but at first it was hard because we have all new actors except for two people.'
Her cast is made up of nine actors and actresses, all under the age of 13. 'Canterbury Tales' features a cast of 32 actors who perform 75 different roles throughout the show.
'She has wanted to be a director as long as she can remember and she's great,' Hamer said. 'She is so focused and she's definitely on her way.'
'Nobody Famous' is the story of a psychic who accidentally gets a prediction right, and was Schwimmer's choice.
The shows all include admission by donation, with a suggested donation of $5, but Hamer insists they won't turn anyone away. All money raised helps pay for royalties, costumes, sets and snacks throughout practice.
'We put on a quality show and it's all friends and neighbors,' Hamer said. 'There will be lots of laughs and everyone will have a great time.'