The Centre communautaire francophone de Truro is hosting its first musical production with Jolly’s Journey, or l’Aventure de Jolly, at the end of the month. The centre received provincial funding for a multi-language production and brought Lenore Zann on as director. The production will feature 16 francophone youth aged 12 to 13. Submitted photo

TRURO – Jolly’s adventure will be filled with experiences, both good and bad, but she’s happy to finally return home.

Emalla Desgagné will fill the role as Jolly in the Centre communautaire francophone de Truro’s production of Jolly’s Journey, or l’Aventure de Jolly. It’s the first time the centre has hosted a musical, and Lenore Zann is directing it.

“A friend of mine, Julie Blue, wrote Jolly’s Journey,” said Zann, about her friend who lives in Vancouver. “She played me a CD of this show and I just loved it.”

Yvette Saulnier, the centre’s executive director, said she approached Zann about directing a musical after receiving funding for a multi-language production through the province’s Communities, Culture, and Heritage department. Gwenn Firth is assisting in the directing.

“We translated Jolly’s Journey into a bilingual script,” said Saulnier, about the piece that features 16 Acadian youth aged 12 to 13. “Most of it is in French, but she has many conversations with friends in English, and the songs are in English. We’re here to serve the whole community and promote the language.”

She said having the production multi-lingual allows the centre to include everyone in the community, while showing off the talents of the francophone community.

“I’m just amazed at the talent I’ve found,” said Zann. “This is a smaller school and they’re sometimes forgotten about. They have such great talent.”

Because Zann is the MLA for Truro-Bible Hill-Salmon River-Millbrook, auditions occurred two months ago, prior to the MLAs returning to the legislature. The youth knew what roles they had, and had their scripts and songs while Zann was tending to her legislative duties.

With the legislative sitting over, rehearsals are well underway for the youth.

Jolly’s Journey follows Jolly, a young girl yearning for adventure. She comes across a magic man named Flyer, who sends her on a magical journey.

“She visits many different countries and meets many different people,” explained Zann, adding Jolly has both good and bad experiences along the way. “She meets some of the wrong kind of people who take advantage of her, but the message she learns is that there are people who will try to take advantage of you, and there are people who will try to help you, and you have to learn to differentiate between the two.”

Jolly’s able to expand her knowledge and find a sense of being through her journey before returning to family and friends.

The production will feature a number of pre-school aged children on some songs, as well as a five-piece band from the Nova Scotia Community College Waterfront Campus under the direction of Jeff Goodspeed.

The production will be offered to local school children on May 30 and 31, and a public performance will begin at 7 p.m. May 31 at the Nova Scotia Community College Truro campus. Tickets for the public performance are $10 each and can be purchased at École acadienne de Truro, the Centre communautaire francophone de Truro, and at the door.