By Stan Ashbee
Alberta Newspapers Group
Irvine School proudly presents “Wipe Out” — the school’s annual dinner theatre production Jan. 17, 2019.
“We are excited about this event, as it always promises to be sensational. Our students and staff do a wonderful job of it,” noted Principal Carol Carlson.Irvine School is a Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 9 school with a student population of 320, located in the rural town of Irvine — which is 21 kilometres east of Medicine Hat. The school is a part of the Prairie Rose School Division No. 8.
Carlson explained the school started the dinner theatre concept as an off-shoot of programming changes at the school. “When the curriculum change came for CTF — which is Career and Technology Foundations — we had the opportunity to put time into electives that come under the CTF curriculum, which are outcomes based on real-world life application learning opportunities,” she said.
According to Carlson, collaboratively as a staff, the school pondered opportunities for kids to gain the skills necessary to prepare them for real work and/or for better decision-making opportunities for when the students are in high school.
CTF curriculum, Carlson added, is targeted for Grades 7-9. “We had been exploring some fine arts opportunities at our school. We also had a typical kind of Home Economics program, we then turned into a catering program. We re-examined what we were offering and then put a lens on it for reconstructing it to be more real-world and/or help kids get more exposure to a wider variety of learning opportunities — to help them experience a lot of different things.”
From there, Carlson said, the dinner theatre was/is a compilation of three of the school’s CTF curriculum. The dinner theatre also features a silent auction with items created by students in shop class or services and/or products from the school’s entrepreneurial class, which is quite similar to the hit TV show “Dragon’s Den.”
“Kids can do entrepreneurial kinds of opportunities and they have a six-week block to explore and create some kind of a service or product,” she said.
Of course, Carlson said, the school also offers a catering component, which is the dinner portion of the evening. “A pretty extravagant meal is provided.” The theatre aspect of it, she added, is done with the fine arts students for backstage and on-stage roles.
“All of it culminates into this day, which for this upcoming year will be happening on Jan. 17,” she said. The dinner theatre starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are available from the school and the deadline to purchase tickets is Jan. 13.