By Hanna Fridhed, Connect Contributor
Plans have a tendency of not working out in the way we imagined them. Sometimes, we end up in a very different place than we originally thought. When Leanne Osmond moved to Fort McMurray in May of 2012 after graduating from university, her plan was to stay for the summer and then be on her merry way.
Four and a half years later, she now calls this town her home; “Here I am, happy as a clam with my little family and a career that lets me fully enjoy everything this community has to offer.”
Osmond is currently starring in her first main stage production at Keyano Theatre, the family Christmas musical The Other Side of the Pole by Stephen Heatley, as Pix and Marzipan the elf.
When she was younger theatre was enticing, but she never made it onto the stage.
“I was far too shy,” she explained. “After working at the Newfoundland Theatre Company doing communications, I had a chance to witness the entire process and fell completely in love with it.”
It wasn’t until the spring of 2015 when Osmond felt confident enough to take the leap and try out for a play. She was cast as Gewndolyn Pidgeon in the Stage 2 production of The Odd Couple by Neil Simon and she hasn’t looked back since and being involved in community theatre has come to mean a lot to Osmond.
“Allowing yourself to be this vulnerable, to get up on that stage and let the audience in, it takes a great deal of courage and the ability to shush any negative thoughts that come through your mind,” said Osmond. “After accepting my first role, I had so many doubts about whether or not I could do this, but doing it anyway was one of the best gifts I could have given myself. If someone were to tell me five years ago that I was about to perform on stage in a musical with zero experience I would have laughed in their face. And now here I am. Theatre changes a lot in a person.”
One of the biggest surprises for Osmond when the rehearsal process started was how unafraid and accepted she felt.
“I’m sure there might be moments once we open the show when the nerves will creep in a little bit,” she said.
But really, the folks that play in the Fort McMurray theatre scene are all kind and wonderful people. They support and love one another, which is something you can feel right away.”
Being this season’s holiday production of the 4-Play Drama Series at Keyano Theatre, the warmth and diversity of the cast and crew easily seeps its way into the show.
“My favourite thing about The Other Side of the Pole is how inclusive it is,” Osmond expands. “It’s hard to think of a Christmas show that isn’t heavily religious, but here we have just that. Fort McMurray is a beautifully diverse city and this is a show that can relate to people from all walks of life. At the end of the day, it’s all about being happy with the ones you love.”
The Other Side of The Pole opens on November 25 at the Keyano Theatre and Arts Centre. Tickets are available at the Box Office, or by visiting www.keyano.ca/theatre.
– Connect Weekly –