Drop-In Centre client Max Ciesielski is going to New York along with John Harris to perform an original production, Requiem for a Lost Girl, as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

Drop-In Centre client Max Ciesielski is going to New York along with John Harris to perform an original production, Requiem for a Lost Girl, as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

Photograph by: Lorraine Hjalte , Calgary Herald

Requiem for a Lost Girl performed at New York Musical Theatre Festival

By Annalise Klingbeil, Calgary Herald July 9, 2012

CALGARY — Calgary Drop-In Centre client Max Ciesielski never dreamed his love of music would take him to New York City.

“I’ve always loved preforming. I never really thought I’d end up in New York,” Ciesielski said.

Ciesielski and fellow drop-in resident John Harris will fly to the Big Apple on Tuesday to perform an original production, Requiem for a Lost Girl, as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, alongside residents from shelters in New York.

The pair helped write the play, which explores themes of poverty, mental illness and addiction.

It premiered in Calgary two years ago.

Ciesielski is looking forward to 10 days packed with a heavy rehearsal schedule, three off-Broadway performances, and some sightseeing.

“I want to go through Central Park. I’ve just read so much about it. Maybe I can stand where Paul Simon did his concert,” Ciesielski said.

Ciesielski, who has two original pieces of music in the play, will sing and play the keyboard on stage.

The 59-year-old has been playing guitar, piano and other instruments for the past 14 years.

“I can’t imagine living without (music),” said Ciesielski, who works as a woodworker.

Ciesielski has lived at the drop-in centre for almost 15 years and said being involved with the play has shown him that anything is possible.

“Being homeless and living in a shelter, it’s really easy to become institutionalized and you disassociate yourself from everybody and everything that’s going on,” he said.

The executive director of the drop-in centre said supporting clients in their creative endeavours is important.

“We have many people that are very creative and are very talented and it’s a way for them to feel more confident about themselves, show the talent that they have and I think sometimes it opens up the opportunities for other things to happen,” Debbie Newman said.

aklingbeil@calgaryherald.com

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