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‘Something Rotten’ kicks off Stratford’s 2024 festival season

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‘Something Rotten’ kicks off Stratford’s 2024 festival season

There is a buzz - and some brass - in the air in Stratford as the doors opened to audiences on Tuesday for the first preview shows of the 2024 festival season.

This year, CTV News has followed the cast of Something Rotten as they went from their first rehearsal to live on stage.

“We are just so excited,” one audience member told CTV News.

But it’s not just the audience that’s filled with excitement.

“So you can hear the mumbling from the audience, the energy, the laughter, the discussions,” said Something Rotten actor, Dan Chameroy. “The city starts to come to light, the downtown area starts to come to life, like energy is palpable in here.”

Just over two months ago, the cast and crew of Something Rotten met for the first time.

“I'm so excited,” said actor Henry Firmston. “We've been rehearsing for what feels like a year.”

Since then, they’ve added a set orchestra and costumes.

“I think the costume for me in this show at least made me so much more brave as a performer,” said actor Olivia Sinclair Brisbane.

The cast added the final element Tuesday.

“We have our first big audience today,” Brisbane said. “It’s the final piece of the puzzle, it’s the final cast members as some people say.”

For Brisbane and Firmston, being cast in Something Rotten is like a high school reunion.

“So, Olivia was the older kid and I was a scared little boy,” Firmston said. “I don’t know about cool kid, but was certainly older.”

12 years ago, the two H.B. Beal Secondary School students shared the stage in a high school play.

“And it's kind of surreal to actually get to meet back up and be doing what we knew we were going to do,” Firmston said.

It’s a familiarity off stage that became a secret weapon on stage.

“I would say, because we feel comfortable enough to be the same kids that we were when we were in high school just doing a show together,” Brisbane said. “But it also brings a kind of sense of security.”

The two talented local actors are getting to live out a dream.

“I think the two of us knew this is what we wanted to do,” Firmston said.

A testament that although hair styles change, dreams don’t have to.

“Even if you think it sucks and you think you're no good at it, you have to keep going,” Brisbane added. “It never comes down to the people who are good at it right away, because if you're good at it right away, then you never have to fight for it.”

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