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Fill-ins let boarders be part of ‘Mother-Son Dinner Theatre’

Upper Canada College’s second annual “Mother-Son Dinner Theatre” event was another smashing success on March 30.

“The sold-out event had 220 moms and sons enjoy an evening of laughs together,” says Laura Dallal, chair of the Arts Booster Club. Along with ABC co-chair Amelia Rattew, they were the driving force behind Big Time Murder Productions’ murder mystery presentation of The Silence of the Hams at UCC’s student centre.

The night began at 6 p.m. with Upper School boys and their mothers enjoying a gourmet taco buffet dinner and designer doughnuts for dessert. Teacher Dale Churchward then provided introductory remarks that focused on the importance of the relationship between mothers and sons.

From there, the play’s plot involving UCC being sold began to unfold. The College’s new owner invited losing bidders to the evening’s events to bask in his glory as he shared his plans for the school, and it was up to those in attendance to sleuth out who did what. Teachers Julian Bauld and Judith Macdonell respectively played a victim and witness, and displayed some comedy chops, as part of the show.

While most of the day students who attended the $60 a head dinner were able to do so with their birth mothers, that wasn’t the case for the boarders interested in the show whose families are far away from Toronto. Not to fear, however, as UCC staff members Chantal Kenny, Julia Kinnear, Jody McLean and Tricia Rankin stepped up and became stand-in moms for four boarders.

Kenny volunteered to be IB2 student Charlie Yang’s substitute mother for the night since his real one lives in China.

“Without a doubt, it was the most rewarding event I attended this year, thanks to Charlie,” says UCC’s executive director of admission. “He was humble, smart, funny, thoughtful and completely at ease with our mom-son status for the night.

“I learned about his home and his family and how grateful he is for his parents to offer him this opportunity of a lifetime to live and learn at UCC. I was able to connect with other moms and sons who also went out of their way to get to know ‘my Charlie.’”

The Silence of the Hams carried on the momentum of last year’s inaugural show, A Brimful of Asha, starring Old Boy Ravi Jain ’99 and his mother Asha. With the glowing reviews received by this most recent “Mother-Son Dinner Theatre” production, it seems pretty certain that UCC has another tradition on its hands.

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