Dancing at Lughnasa director Helen Embury is excited to have won at the regionals, and looks forward to showing off the team’s efforts at the provincials in Port Alberni next month. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

Comedic and musical production earns Langley Players spot in provincials

Three encore performances of Dancing at Lughnasa will help pay to take the show to Port Alberni

A cast and crew of 30 Langley thespians are bringing an award-winning play back to the stage of the Langley Playhouse for three encore performances later this month.

Langley Players Drama Club recently won a series of top honours during a regional community theatre competition in the Tri-Cities for their spring production of Dancing at Lughnasa.

By winning the Fraser Valley Zone Festival, the Players earned themselves a coveted spot at the provincial championships next month in Port Alberni, explained the play’s director Helen Embury.

The team won best production, best lead actor (both male and female, Bryan Johnson and Mahara Sinclaire), as well as a tie for best male supporting actor (Tyler Q. Felbel), and best set decoration (Vicki Nelson, Karen McTavish, and Shelley Moore). The play also won the people’s choice award.

It’s the best production title that subsequently earned Langley Players a spot at the Theatre BC’s Mainstage competition, which runs from July 5 to 13, Embury elaborated.

While the Players have frequently won regional and even provincial theatre awards, the last time the drama club won a spot at Mainstage was when we took Lost in Yonkers there in 2011, Embury recounted. That production won best production in B.C.

“This is a real feather in our cap and the over 30 people who worked on the show both on stage and off, should be very proud of this success,” added the show’s producer, Cyndy Dwyer.

This is a Brian Friel script they spent months rehearsing and performed on the local stage.

It is a memory play set in 1936 in a fictional village in Northern Ireland called Ballybeg during the harvest festival of Lughnasa.

“This show is told from the point of view of Michael Mundy and reflects his memory of a summer in 1936 with his aunts and uncle in a small town in Northern Ireland. It has moved audiences both to laughter and tears,” Embury explained.

WATCH: Fictional village comes to life on Langley stage

During dress rehearsals, and weeks before the curtain actually went up on this play for the first time, Embury shared her love of the script.

“I fell in love with it… it really spoke to me,” she said, noting the crew has dedicated so much of themselves to making the production possible.

“It’s a fabulous journey we’ve been on together,” she said, excited to be taking the show on the road again next month.

To help fund the team’s trip to Port Alberni, the Players are hosting three extra showings of Dancing at Lughnasa on June 27, 28, and 29 – each show beginning at promptly 8 p.m. at the playhouse in Brookswood.

“So, if you missed it when it was on stage in April and May, you have one more chance to see this winning show,” Embury said.

Tickets or these three shows are available through Brown Paper Tickets.

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Director Helen Embury said a lot of time was spent learning lines, songs, accents, and dances before Dancing at Lughnasa made it to the Langley Playhouse stage. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

Several Dancing at Lughnasa cast and crew members were on hand to accept the awards recently at the regional theatre competitions. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

Andrew Wood (left) and Natasha Kirincic shared the stage in Dancing at Lughnasa. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Director Helen Embury said a lot of time was spent learning lines, songs, accents, and dances before Dancing at Lughnasa made it to the Langley Playhouse stage. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

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