April 18, 2012                                                                           

Strange Coincidences Surround E.L. Crossley Production   

From April 26 – 28, students from E.L. Crossley Secondary School will present the hauntingly funny musical drama “Colours in the Storm”, by Canadian writer and lyricist Jim Betts. The musical, which will be presented at Ridley College in St. Catharines, explores the life, passions and mysterious death of Canadian painting legend Tom Thomson.

E.L. Crossley’s Head of Drama Jennifer Benson says it’s a production that the school was meant to perform. “I began considering the show based on the advice of a friend, but tracking down the writer proved to be a pretty exhausting exercise, with many false leads along the way,” says Benson. “I was ready to give up.”

Then, while driving through Niagara, Benson spotted not one, but two billboards advertising the Tom Thomson museum in Kitchener. “I took that as a sign,” she laughs. That coincidence convinced Benson to persist with her search until she was successful in obtaining the rights to the musical.

After selecting the musical, strange connections to Tom Thomson began appearing everywhere. While talking about the production with her colleagues, one swears that she saw Thomson’s ghost while spending time in Algonquin Park, where Thomson made many of his iconic paintings. Then, while researching Thomson at a cottage up north, an intense rainstorm flooded Benson’s brand new car. The significance of water was not lost, as Thomson mysteriously drowned while canoeing in the Algonquin. Benson now refers to her car as “the canoe”.

“Given that this is the one hundredth anniversary of his first visit to Algonquin Park, perhaps the mystery around Thomson’s death needs to be solved,” says Benson. “Our students have worked extremely hard on this production and I’m sure they will do this wonderful Canadian story justice.”

Tickets for the production are $12 for students and $15 for adults. All performances begin at 7:00 p.m. and tickets can be purchased by contacting Nancy Augustino at 905-892-2635 or by emailing nancy.augustino@dsbn.org.

Ridley College is located at 2 Ridley Road in St. Catharines.

 Crossley Poster