Cast members of the TWU production of ‘The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940’ which was set to open March 24 on streaming video (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Cast members of the TWU production of ‘The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940’ which was set to open March 24 on streaming video (Special to Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Drama students at Trinity Western University in Langley return to the stage for new show

Actors unmask hidden personalities in TWU’s livestreamed murder mystery

Last semester at Trinity Western University in Langley, with a raging pandemic forcing a temporary end to live performances, student Braedon Sunnes took a semester to explore other avenues within theatre outside of acting.

It only confirmed how much he missed it.

“Live (audience) or not, I want to act!” Sunnes declared.

An he will. This semester, Sunnes is the lead in TWU’s newest play, “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” by John Bishop, live on stage and viewable by live streaming.

Rehearsals for "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" from SAMC at TWU on Vimeo.

It marks the first on-stage production by TWU students since the pandemic, and Sunnes’ fellow cast members are just as keen to return as he is.

For Sacha Mugisha, it shows “COVID has taught us all that nothing can stop us from making great art if we are willing to be creative in the midst of it – not even a global pandemic.”

READ ALSO: Career comes ‘full circle’ for Langley thespian in ‘Anne of Green Gables: The Musical’

Langley native Jen Mamchur noted performers will follow COVID precautions by wearing masks and standing or sitting six feet apart at all times.

“It dictates how we move on stage, how we talk to one another, because some conversations that might have happened in the dialogue of the play, close together, now have to happen across large distances,” Mamchur commented.

For Nyssa Morgan, acting in masks was “probably the weirdest part of the process so far.”

“Not being able to react to facial expressions and cues is more challenging than I expected, and I frequently forget that people can’t see half my face so I need to be expressive in other ways,” Morgan said.

Audrey Loeffler said there’s “a little bit of a sense of uncertainty.”

“Things changed so quickly last year, and at the moment, it’s really impossible to guarantee anything, which can be unnerving for performers,” Loeffler remarked.

READ ALSO: Classic Shakespeare play gets revamped at Trinity Western with gender swapped roles

Alex Walker predicted “it will be a huge change to not have live audiences.”

The show is about a group of people who become trapped together and are forced to reveal their true selves to each other, Walker elaborated.

“It is also about trust, growth, and friendship, and how good and bad intentions can quickly become the opposite of what was meant.”

Loeffler added the play “is very witty with its dialogue, and there’s never really a dull moment, because there’s always clues to pick up on, and hi-jinks to ensue.”

“The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” by John Bishop live streamed from March 24 to March 27, with shows at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $5.89 for students, $11.17 for seniors, faculty and staff. and $16.45 for adults, available online at twu.ca/theatre.


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TWU actors rehearsed their return to the stage for ‘The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940’ prior to it live streaming beginning March 24 (Special to Langley Advance Times)

TWU actors rehearsed their return to the stage for ‘The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940’ prior to it live streaming beginning March 24 (Special to Langley Advance Times)