Paige Neufeld

Look who’s up the chimney

Center Stage Performing Arts Academy’s musical theatre performance will sweep you into the Christmas spirit

Christmas as seen through the eyes of a child is what brings magic and joy to all of us.

So says Center Stage Performing Arts Academy’s Charity Van Gameren, who is bringing her Junior Company to the Vernon Performing Arts Centre stage Dec. 11.

The children will  create the magic, humour and fun of the holidays with the presentation of When Sasha Got Swept Up the Chimney.

“When I read this script in July, I was hooked. The music is infectious and the story-line has some amazing humour that audience members of all ages will be laughing aloud to,” said Van Gameren. “If you are looking for a live holiday theatre experience that is just over an hour in length that children and adults alike will delight in, this is the perfect show.”

When Sasha Got Swept Up the Chimney follows young orphan, Sasha (played by Jordan Andrews), on a journey from the streets to the rooftops of 1899 London, where the city is ablaze in Yuletide cheer.

Sasha and her orphan friends (Jordan Loxam, Amélie Jordan, and Sydney Byles)meet some chimney sweeps who have an in with the “big guy” (played by Bodhi Cull) and his over-worked wife (Rachel Horsfield).

The sweeps sprinkle magic stardust, which sends the orphans into the evening London air and over the mountains and icy plains to the North Pole. All is not well at the pole as the evil villains, Tooth Fairy (Kady Brandel) and Tooth Ache (Carys Watts), are plotting to destroy Christmas.

The director of Lights of Broadway, Van Gameren has more than 15 years of presenting musical theatre productions in Vernon. However, this is the first year she is presenting a show under the umbrella of her new Center Stage Performing Arts Academy.

Van Gameren is working alongside choreographer/dance instructor Cherise McInnis, who is weaving her dance students into the story. Vocal/musical theatre instructor Jenae Van Gameren will present her kindergarten to Grade 2 students as cute North Pole penguins, while fellow instructor Brittany McMillan will have her acting students warm up the audience.

“It is a true honour to work alongside these multi-talented ladies on this show. Mark and Liza Judd are our set builders that also help create the magic. They are an incredible support to our theatre programs and we couldn’t do it with out them,” said Van Gameren.

When Sasha Got Swept Up the Chimney takes to the Performing Arts Centre stage Friday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at, (250) 549-7469 or at the box office.


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