Nineteen hundred and fourteen saw the beginning of World War I, the war to end all wars. In keeping with the 100th anniversary of the conflict, CentreStage is pleased to present My Boy Jack.
The year is 1913. War with Germany is imminent. Rudyard Kipling, the British Empire's greatest apologist, is at the peak of his literary fame. This play explores the nature of a man who loses his balance when devotion to family and country, clash. World War I breaks out, and Kipling's son, Jack, is determined to fight, but the Army and the Navy both reject him because of his extremely poor eyesight. Undaunted, Kipling uses his influence to land Jack a commission in the Irish Guards, sparking off a bitter family conflict.
My Boy Jack is directed by Geoff Ball.
Cast in order of appearance: Bryen Stoddard, Gabriel Skaling, Carole Ball, John H. Smith, Mike Jorgensen Emily Decker, and Mike Butler.
|Rudyard Kipling||Bryen Stoddard|
|John "Jack" Kipling||Gabriel Skaling|
|Carrie Kipling||Carole Ball|
|Colonel Rory Pottle, Guardsman McHugh, Mr/ Frankland||John H. Smith|
|Major Sparks, Guardsman Doyle||Michael Jorgensen|
|Elsie "Bird" Kipling||Emily Decker|
|Guardsman Bowe||Mike Butler/ Geoff Ball|
|BBC Radio Announcer||Richard Stern|
|Stage Manager||Elva Kelley|
|Props and Costumes||Lana Churchill and Julie Skaling|
|Technical Operator||Fred Decker|
|Lighting and Set Design||Geoff Ball|
|Research||Cast and Crew|
|Artwork and Set Decorator||Linda Pierce|
|Set Builders||George Henry, Geoff Ball, Ernest Zinck, John Churchill|
|Publicity||Irene Armstrong, Diana Bishop, Laura Churchill Duke, Sharon Churchill Roe, Nancy Henry & Beth Irvine|
|Special Thanks||Country Barn Antiques, Jeff and Julie Skaling, Bob Cook|
After a six-year hiatus, Bryen is going full force this year taking on many challenging acting roles. He just finished Sleuth this spring and now has My Boy Jack to add to his list of accomplishments. You can also see Bryen scare up the streets of Kentville and Windsor, as he is a part of the Valley Ghost Walks this season. Bryen lives in Kentville with his cats Simba and Sam.
Gabriel Skaling lives in a peaceful house on a mountain overlooking the valley from the north. From there he attends Northeast Kings Education Centre and is presently enjoying the joys of high school. He adores being on the stage and takes as many opportunities as he can to get on it. His past performances at CentreStage have included A Christmas Carol and My Invisible Friend as well as several theatre camps. Outside of theatre, he enjoys singing and playing the bass clarinet and is in choirs and bands inside and outside of school. He tends to take life one day at a time, but any day that he’s acting is a good one.
Carole Ball (Carrie Kipling) is back for her eleventh role at CentreStage. Previous shows include Nana’s Naughty Knickers (Vera) and The Dixie Swim Club (Dinah). A native of Dartmouth, but now living in the Valley, Carole could be seen regularly over the last 37 years in many productions, amateur and professional, in HRM. She wants to thank her wonderful and talented husband, Geoff, for all his love and support. She also wants to dedicate her performance to her father who passed away in May and who introduced her to Rudyard Kipling as a young child, reading to her from his many works. As Kipling wrote in Kim, “This is a brief life, but in its brevity it offers us some splendid moments, some meaningful adventures.”
John Smith (Pottle, McHugh and Frankland) is in his third play with CentreStage. He was attracted to this play because, as he puts it, “this powerful story reminds us that while war is futile there are powerful forces that draws us into conflict… time and again.” Also, the opportunity to play multiple characters in one play was hard to resist for its interesting challenges. Pleased to be part of the theatre again and particularly with this strong ensemble, he hopes you enjoy this effort. When not on the stage John works with the Community College here in the Valley and resides in Wolfville with his patient and supportive wife Beth and daughter Jamie.
Mike is the proud husband to Monica Jorgensen and a father of two fairly decent kids. When he’s not busy designing trusses for Shamrock Truss or trying to convince his neighbors in New Minas how much fun they will have when they mow his lawn for him, Mike likes to play on the computer and tell everyone else to stop being so noisy. Mike can also be found performing in the Halls Harbour Ghost Walk as Admiral Pasha Bucknam. This is his fourth play with CentreStage Theatre.
Emily is very excited to be treading the boards at CentreStage for the third time. When she is not acting, Emily can often be found writing, sculpting or watching Sci-Fi shows and old movies.
Well, there’s no rest for the wicked. I just finished Sleuth a few weeks ago and now I am back for another challenge with My Boy Jack. Thanks Geoff for giving me the chance to work with you and this stellar cast. When I’m not on stage, I’m at the Il Dolce Far Niente Espresso Bar in Wolfville or see if you can spot me on the Kentville and Wolfville Ghost Walk! One last thanks to my incredible partner Ian who is my greatest support and my biggest fan! Thanks for being the best part of my crazy busy life! I Love You Ian!
Although Canadian for 30 plus years Richard still has the English accent he grew up with. When not out watching and photographing birds he enjoys taking part in CentreStage activities.
Fred Decker is a freelance writer and trained chef, but he'll be drawing on his earlier experience in electronics as the show's technical person. He's the father of returning CentreStage actor Emily Decker.
Elva is pleased to have worked with this cast and crew in bringing you My Boy Jack In this year of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. We must remember every day the sacrifices of our veterans; many of whom gave their lives to allow us to enjoy the freedom and peace of this wonderful land. Lest We Forget.
Geoff Ball This summer, Geoff Ball (Director; Set and Lighting Designer) has been celebrating his "Golden Anniversary" in theatre -- 50 years since he made his professional acting debut and started his theatre education. Over those years, he has directed and designed productions at many theatres.
My Boy Jack is the second CentreStage Theatre main-stage production Geoff has directed, and the third one he has designed.
When he's not doing theatre work, Geoff can be found teaching 1st Aid and CPR for St. John Ambulance, or working on "the farm" in Blomidon, riding his Vespa, playing guitar, or doing various other activities. His favourite time, though, is spent with his marvelous wife, Carole, their two loving spaniels, and five characterful chickens. Goats soon?