MBSS Wild Theatre Group Production brings Cranes of Hope over $15K

Submitted by EKFH on 24-01-2011

 Cranbrook, BC… The story of a 1,000 Cranes began in Hiroshima, Japan, where in 1945; the atom bomb levelled the city. A generation later the radiation from this blast was found to be causing cancer. 

The play 1,000 Cranes is about this atom bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, and how it affected a young Japanese girl named Sadako. She was two years old when the bomb fell, and she developed leukemia years later despite being active and healthy. It is legend that after making 1,000 origami cranes, a wish will be granted. Thus, Sadako folded cranes while she was ill ~ with the wish to live and be healthy once again. She died at the age of 16, but her classmates continued to fold cranes as a prayer for peace. Today, paper cranes are released annually into Hiroshima Bay as a symbol of hope that cancer can be cured and that a bomb will never happen ago.

Fifteen years ago in Cranbrook, Kyla Surtees, while in Grade 12 at Mount Baker Secondary School in Rod Osiowy’s theatre program, directed a dramatic stage version of 1,000 Cranes. Upon hearing of Rod’s diagnosis in 2009, Kyla contacted her cast from high school and asked them to make paper cranes and send them to her. Kyla, and her mother, Beth, strung the cranes together and Kyla presented the inspirational gift to the Osiowy family who in turn has bestowed the beautiful gift to the East Kootenay Regional Hospital to share the hope and inspiration represented by the cranes.

This January, another group of inspired MBSS Wild Theatre Group students decided to also honour their passionate theatre arts teacher by bringing the play 1,000 Cranes back to Key City Theatre stage.

This talented group of 11 students brought the idea forward in October 2010, even continuing rehearsals through the Christmas break, to be ready for its January 13 debut and their efforts most certainly didn’t disappoint those in attendance. The students also secured support for fundraising by having a portion of the tickets sales and donations at the door dedicated to East Kootenay Foundation for Health and its Cranes of Hope a Legacy of Rod Osiowy campaign. When the final curtain fell, the group was able to symbolically purchase 20 origami cranes ($2,004) and brought the Cranes of Hope campaign to $15,332.87.

Co-directors Chelsea Neil and Regan Stang share, “It is such a special opportunity for all of us to show our support to the Cranes of Hope for a very special family who have given so much to our community. This project was a team effort from start to finish and we are very proud to honour Rod O who we miss very much.”

The Cranes of Hope a Legacy of Rod Osiowy campaign continues on its path to one day symbolically sell 1,000 cranes in support of future enhancements at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital oncology unit.

East Kootenay Foundation for Health wishes to acknowledge the talents of these gifted theatre students and to thank them for presenting a wonderful and heart-moving production. 

The cast and crew of 1,000 cranes with the cranes at the regional hospital:

Back Row L-R: Chelsea Neil (director), Claire Bauer (costumes), Miranda Hark (Mrs. Harman), Allie Vanhooren (Sadako), Lauren Boilard (Mrs. Sasaki), Merle Leite-Franks (lights)

Front Row R-L: Brianna Coltman (Lee), Taite Roebuck (Buddy), Regan Stang (director), Danielle Nicholson (Yoshiko), Brad McCue (stage manager)