Surrey Little Theatre (SLT) may be turning 60-years-old, but its productions are still as youthful as ever
DebuTheatre is Artistic Director Margaret Shearman’s new program to get younger people interested in community theatre.
Young adults from Langley, Surrey, Abbotsford, Victoria, and many more cities across the lower mainland are coming together to put on their own works – generally for their first time in a professional setting. This includes producing, directing, stage managing, lighting, and costume and set designing their productions.
Under the guidance of mentors that are experienced in the theatre world, two one act plays make their debut on the SLT stage after months of work-shopping and learning the tricks on the trade.
One such mentor was Rita Price, a theatre director from Walnut Grove who has worked in the business for 25 years. Having directed productions with SLT, Langley Players Club, and even Metro Theatre in Vancouver, she said her fondness of young people and desire to see new blood in the community led her to taking on the mentor role.
“It’s time to pass on the torch,” Price said. “The kids are all great. They started working on the play in January and did a good job of juggling their jobs to make rehearsal time. I really mentor the director because it’s their baby. But everyone was very keen and receptive when I was giving notes.”
Price mentored Legoland, written by Jacob Richmond and directed by Sargil Tongol. It is described as a wildly inventive and darkly funny coming-of-age tale that chronicles the misadventures of two precocious teens on their odyssey from a hippie commune to the big city world.
The second is For Never Not Always, written and directed by Jennifer Peters. Described as a Three’s Company sitcom episode, the play mixes comedy and drama with a complex love triangle.
Langley actor Brent Flink plays the role of Dr. Challs in For Never Not Always. He has appeared in several SLT productions before and says the opportunity gives him a chance to play.
“Acting is a little like Halloween for adults. You get to have fun as that person for a while – dress up – and then move on,” Flink said. “You get a high like no other making audiences laugh. Here I do a cockney accent that’s sort of a mix between Michael Caine and Keith Richards.”
All performances of DebuTheatre run Thursday to Saturday at 8 p.m. between July 4 and 20, and on Sunday July 7 and 14 a 2 p.m.
Surrey Little Theatre is located at 7027 184 street and more information can be found at www.surreylittletheatre.com.
Langley youth are also invited to SLT to give the performing arts a try this summer. Cue to Cue Youth Drama Camp is taught by Linda McRae, an actor, director, and writer with 20 years of theatre experience.
The first camp for six to 11 year olds is Monday July 8 to Friday July 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The teen camp, focused more towards improvisation skills, will go from Aug 12 to 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For youth of any age wondering if theatre is in fact for them, Price’s biggest note for beginners is to not be shy.
“Don’t be afraid. Get that thought of ‘I can’t do this’ out of your head. We are all still learning – I’m still learning after 25 years. Theatre is a lot of fun and all very positive,” Price said.
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