Cornerstone Youth Theatre gears up for Treasure Island

Cornerstone Youth Theatre has never been wary of putting fresh, engaging spins on classic productions, and that winning formula is set to continue with their production of Treasure Island.

According to a release, excitement runs high in this musical adaptation of a favorite childhood adventure story.

“Robert Louis Stevenson’s thrilling tale of pirates, treasure maps, mutiny on the high seas and pieces of eight follows Jim Hawkins, an ordinary youth drawn into a dangerous race for buried treasure against the treacherous Long John Silver.”

As the author himself wrote, ‘If this don’t fetch the kids, why, they have gone rotten since my day’.”

Evening performances are at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays June 3rd, 4th, 10th and 11th at New Life Fellowship Church.

Matinees are at 3 p.m. on Saturdays, June 4th and 11th.

Reserved seating is available with advance purchase – children – $10; seniors – $11 and adults – $12. All tickets purchased at the door are $14.

There is also a discount matinee on June 4th with all seats $10 at 3 p.m.

As to Treasure Island, this Broadway style production that Cornerstone is taking on is full of buccaneers and buried gold.

Director Laura DeGraff said the production features 65 of Central Alberta’s most talented young performers and is sure to delight audiences of all ages.

“I always start with the script,” she explains of approaching a given show. The particular adaptation she chose adds a few characters here and there, but essentially the heart of the story is indeed there. “We’ve kind of put our own spin on some things, just to give it kind of our own unique flair.

“It’s so much fun – it honestly is,” she added of the process of shaping the production. “It’s a lot of work, a lot to organize and to keep everyone on track, but it’s a lot of fun and I really like working with all of the kids at Cornerstone.

“They’re all excited and working so hard to make the show great, too.

“That’s one of my favourite things with directing, teaching and working with Cornerstone in general is just to see the growth and the improvement that the students have.”

According to Wikipedia, “Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of ‘buccaneers and buried gold’.

“It was originally serialized in the children’s magazine Young Folks between 1881 through 1882 under the title Treasure Island, or the Mutiny of the Hispaniola, credited to the pseudonym ‘Captain George North’. It was first published as a book in November of 1883.

“Treasure Island is traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, and is noted for its atmosphere, characters and action.”

DeGraff said that ‘coming of age’ element is part of what contributes to the play’s enduring appeal.

“It’s mysterious and there is danger, but in the end everything works out.

“The costumes are also going to be great, and we got this ship on stage and palm trees – that whole aesthetic – so that’s a lot of fun as well.”

Ultimately, putting these shows together is also dependent on a faithful contingent of volunteers, including family members of the young actors. “Our parents are amazing – they’ve put in so much work. There are spectacular sets and costumes and refreshments and souvenirs – all of that. We have a parent committee that does our publicity – it’s amazing how much work they do.”

For DeGraff, each new play brings its own sense of fulfillment.

“My favourite thing is to watch our students perform on stage and see the joy that they have and see the growth they achieve – that makes it all worth it to me,” she said.

Looking ahead, Cornerstone Youth Theatre will also be hosting musical theater summer day camps offered in several locations around the Red Deer area. Staff includes professionals from the steering committee and alumni students as well.

Team competitions, rotations through daily drama, dance, music, and craft workshops, a daily theme-related devotional, and an impressive concluding showcase for family and friends are what summer day camps are all about.

“This will be our third summer doing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. It’s such a great show with a really broad appeal,” she said. “It’s also one of those shows that a lot of people are familiar with.”

For more information, or for tickets to Treasure Island, check out or call the box office at 403-986-2981.