Theatre festival summer worker entrenched in music

Frank Gale
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The fiddle is just one of the instruments that the multi-talented Marigold Benoit of Stephenville plays. — Star photo by Frank Gale

“It’s there all the time!”

That’s Marigold Benoit’s answer to a question about the music in her head.

The music in there is a little bit different this summer — her head mostly crowded now with tunes she’s performing in “The Nobleman’s Wedding” as part of her work as a musician, and some acting duties, with the Stephenville Theatre Festival.

But there’s different music in her head as she runs in track and field competitions, biathlon and cross-country running or skiing. The rhythm helps keep her in stride.

The music in her head is a little different when she’s playing with Stephenville High concert band, something she actually started doing while back in Stephenville Middle School in Grade 6.

“It’s just whatever pops into my head at the time,” she said of the music.

It’s been there for a long time because she comes from a family with a musical background: Her father Mike playing guitar and bass, mom Jill playing guitar, mandolin and piano; and her brother James playing guitar and saxophone. All four family members also sing.

Benoit, 17 years old and heading for Level 3 in school this fall, plays piano, fiddle and Susato whistle, which she said is bigger and has a deeper sound than the tin whistle.

Although growing up in a house of music, her latest venture with the Stephenville Theatre Festival this summer has her learning even more about her craft. She’s learning lots more about playing the fiddle from renowned musician Dave Panting, who is mentoring her.

Benoit is playing her fiddle and whistle in “The Nobleman’s Wedding,” and also has a small acting part in that production.

In “Jack Meets the Cat” she has several odd acting parts as a pirate, half of a leprechaun, one-fifth of an elephant and the first female pope of Newfoundland and Labrador.

She also sings and plays her whistle in “Music from Home.”

“It’s fun to play with lots of energy and really enjoyable,” she said.

Last spring Benoit did piano and voice at the Stephenville Rotary Music Festival, and next year she plans to go back at it, adding fiddle to the list.

To her, there could be no better summer job for someone like her than the Stephenville Theatre Festival. She hopes to return next year.

Organizations: Stephenville Theatre, Stephenville Middle School

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