Behind the Scenes of Spoon River Anthology: Bailey

On this sunny April morning, when spring is most definitely in the air and the cast and crew of Spoon River Anthology have a little break from rehearsals, we meet Bailey Yarkie. Bailey is a 20 year old firecracker, who have been in and out of Fort McMurray her whole life. She spends a lot of her time in the arts, as her hobbies include theatre, (unsurprisingly!), improv, cats, food and naps. When not being a ghost she works as a substitute teacher.

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Bailey with fellow actors Suzanne Braat, Brittany Sutherland, Sheri Reed and Dave Martin. Photo: Hanna Fridhed

What is it like being involved in Spoon River Anthology?

“It’s been incredible, and pretty challenging. There are so many aspects of Spoon River Anthology that are brand new to me, especially the singing. This is the first show I’ve ever had to sing for, which has been scary but incredibly exciting and a great learning experience. This is also the most emotionally driven piece I’ve been involved in, which has been really awesome as I can explore and play with a side of me I haven’t really explored before. Everything else I’ve done in town has been pretty much comedy so doing something that focuses so much on raw emotion and vulnerability has been amazing, and a little intimidating. The cast has also been incredible, everyone is so talented and every day I learn something new thanks to them. I’m very lucky to be working with such a fantastic and supportive group of people.

Working with a professional crew (director and stage manager) has been such a gift, the amount that I’ve learned just in these first few weeks has been unbelievable, and I’m constantly in awe of what they can create and pick out that I never saw before. This play has a lot of monologues, which in the wrong hands could be very challenging to do, but Karen Towsley knows exactly how to bring the humour, tragedy and relatability out of every character in a way that’s fun to perform, and beautiful to watch. And working with such an incredible stage manager and assistant stage manager has been fantastic, because the show can become quite complex in parts, and Barry seems to just know how to make it work beautifully. Plus their organization and eye for detail is a skill that I tend to lack in!”

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Bailey during this year’s Theatre; Just Because production “Awesome 80’s Prom” directed by Michelle Thorne. Photo: Thorne-Carpentier Photography
“I love how, despite the show being set in the early 1900’s, every story relates to life today. It really stresses the message that every life is individual and beautiful, and often full of regrets and secrets, but also hope and wonder. The cast and crew just do an amazing job bringing these ghosts back to life and telling a haunting and entrancing story. The most challenging thing I think is really getting into these characters and figuring out “how are they a part of the community?” “How are they different” “What message are they trying to convey?” There are so many parts to each of these characters and its been such a joy to explore them and find where they belong in Spoon River.

Spoon River Anthology is an incredible and unique performance that serves to everyone. I think anyone can relate to these characters, whether it’s because you have felt their heartache or you relate to the wonder they feel about the world around them. The story gives such a unique look into the lives and stories of a community and I think its a story that will really leave a mark on anyone that sees it.”

SRA team
Spoon River Anthology opens on April 28, 2017!

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Preview: April 27, 8:00 pm
Opening: April 28, 8:00 pm
Show dates: April 29, May 3, May 4, May 5, May 6, 2017 8:00 pm

Tickets available at keyano.ca/theatre

Genre: Drama
Rating: Appropriate for all audiences

In the fictional small town of Spoon River we are introduced to the ghosts of the people that were once its inhabitants who took their secrets to the grave. While exploring the evocative story, both the sad and humorous sides of life are portrayed in the haunting performance with fetching ballads and the free verse of Edgar Lee Masters.

“A dramatic presentation reduced to its simplest terms… moving and beautiful… An evening of astonishingly stirring emotional satisfaction.” – New York Post

“A glowing theatre experience… A brooding and loving American folk poem brought to life on a stage.” – The New York Times


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