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  • Writer's pictureTheatre CBS

Set Places Audience Inside the Magic

We are very excited to be working with the teachers and students of the Queen Elizabeth Regional High School Art Club for the creation of our set pieces for Duckish: The Ghost and Fairy Stories of Tom Dawe. This is a first-time collaboration, and the students are doing a beautiful job of bringing director Susan Bonnell’s vision to life.

Unlike most Theatre CBS shows, Duckish is being presented “in the round” – a new challenge for all involved. This means that the actors will be surrounded by the audience, in a circle, making the performance very intimate and posing a unique opportunity for set creation.

“Normally, audience members see our plays from only one side,” says Susan, “but for this play, we wanted the audience to feel they were inside the set. We wanted it to be a magical, dream-like experience.”

Artistic rendering of the set from the north angle, Chris Panting

Here’s where the students at Queen Elizabeth come in. Susan met with Theatre CBS member Veronica Nugent, who teaches art and theatre at the high school, and together they imagined a truly remarkable setting.

The set is comprised of giant silhouettes depicting the ocean, a shipwreck, cliffs, an abandoned house and a forest, which audience members will walk through to get to the performance area. There’s even a clothesline, with sheets blowing on a breezy Newfoundland day!

The students (led by Veronica, Colleen Dwyer and Undrea Norris) are tracing and cutting out the large set pieces from sheets of black coroplast and outlining them for an illustrated effect.

“We used projectors for this project,” says Veronica. “The student’s creative juices – and muscle! - are truly being tapped for this giant art-scape.”

The student artists include Abigail Lovelady, Amber Wall, Omar Sanchaz Villagomez, Jade Fradsham, Temperance Gates, Shianne Coombs, Leah MacDougal and Madison Peddle. Theatre CBS set constructor John Bennett will be assisted on set-up day by the students, who will get the opportunity to bring their vision to life.

…Ever get the opportunity to watch great theatre while sitting inside the magic? You don’t want to miss the premiere of Duckish, March 20-23 at Manuel’s River Hibernia Interpretation Centre. Tickets are limited and available now at

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