Langley’s Skylar Walker plays Elijah in Breakwater. (Flick Harrison/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley’s Skylar Walker plays Elijah in Breakwater. (Flick Harrison/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley actor, writer part of play tackling mental health issues

Skylar Walker featured in virtual show

Breakwater follows six youth who face the effects of isolation and mental health struggles from a symbolic world-wide flood. One of the young actors bringing this play alive next week is Langley’s Skylar Walker.

Walker, who plays Elijah, is not only an actor with Breakwater, but also a writer and design assistant for the multi-media theatre production coming from Roundhouse Youth Theatre Action Group (RHYTAG) and Some Assembly Theatre Company.

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Breakwater began, pre-pandemic, in response to conversations with youth speaking of their struggles. Then, when the pandemic hit, the project faced uncertainty as to whether or not it could move forward.

Through it all, one area of certainty remained – the pandemic was causing an increase in mental health struggles among youth, organizers explained.

So, with Some Assembly’s determination and the support of the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health, Roundhouse Community Centre, and other funders, RHYTAG was able to pivot and bring forward this “important theatre collaboration.”

Written by youth, with professional playwright Valerie Methot – along with the support of industry professionals, from script consultants to counsellors – Breakwater promotes self-care and compassion as well as strong, caring communities.

Among them is Skylar. It is their first year with the (RHYTAG), and they said when not acting or performing, they love to do graphic design, read, colour, sing, and spend time with family and friends.

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Walker has struggled with mental health and gender identity for quite some time, so getting to be a part of a play that brings those issues to light has been a big eye opener for Walker, they said, hoping to continue shining a light what’s described as a heavy, but important topics.

Breakwater will be brought to the virtual stage June 30 at 4 p.m., July 8 at 7 p.m., and July 11 at 3 p.m.

Tickets are by donation at www.someassembly.ca.

Some Assembly Theatre Company is in its 21st year of collaboratively creating and producing original plays that promote awareness, dialogue, and positive social change around issues that young people are facing. The company is the recipient of the City of Vancouver Youth Award for outstanding contribution to the youth community, and the Deryck Thomson Award for exceptional contribution to community building and well-being.

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