Langley’s version of a mini-Fringe Fest arrives next week, with a local actor and playwright at the helm.
Shane Rochon is heading up efforts to produce the Siloam Theatre Festival, and it’s set to run July 30 to Aug. 4 at the Langley Playhouse.
“We believe that local artists and playwrights have a voice that warrants to be heard. And staged. The Siloam Theatre Festival exists to familiarize the local talent with the culture of the local community theatre, as well as provide an opportunity for local talent to be seen and ‘scene’ for the community to discover and enjoy, said the 37-year-oldthespian originally from Langley (via Montreal) who now living in Cloverdale.
There are three plays being presented under the umbrella of the Langley Players, two showings a night, and all written by familiar faces on the local theatre scene.
Two of the productions are by Langley’s own Darcy J. Knopp, who is an experienced director having headed up a number of Bard in the Valley productions, as well as mounting his own original works in the past.
His submissions include When Life Gives you Lemon Waters as well as Knight of Fools.
Lemon tells the story of three servers facing the misery of working is the restaurant biz.
Ben believes that he can finally leave because his acting career is about take off.
Taylor is stuck in neutral, her she wants to leave the business, but can’t figure out what comes next.
Marco just wants to survive his hangover.
Their evil boss, Sheila, makes work even more miserable. Disaster strikes when corporate is coming in for an evaluation.
Taylor and Ben’s romantic history complicates the evening and someone keeps delivering mystery shooters to the employee.
This show runs Monday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 2 at 6:30 p.m., and Friday, Aug. 3 at 6:30 p.m.
Knights is about two knights, from the kingdom imagined as much like England. They get embroiled in a mixed-up plot wrought with spies, assassins, and a backhanded deal to marry off the princess.
As the playwright tells it, Sir Cedric Longbow and Sir Ebonite Dragonair must stay sober long enough to thwart the assassins, discover the imposters, and find a way to get the princess out of her arranged marriage.
“Good thing, one of them is handsome and the other is smart,” Knopp said.
Knights runs Tuesday, July 31 at 8:30 p.m., again Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3 at 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 4 at 6:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, Kate Nundal is a Trinity Western University graduate and Langley resident, who has made her presence known on and behind the stage.
She’s presenting The Alleyway Wolves. It’s the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but it is twisted, turned, and teased when Rose – walking along through a dark city, meets a “wolf” that isn’t what he seems to be.
“Comedy and romance meet fantasy as two young people search for what really matters to them,” Nundal said.
Wolves opens on Monday, July 30, at 8:30 p.m., runs again Tuesday, July 31 at 6:30 p.m., then Thursday, Aug. 2 at 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 4 at 8:30 p.m.
All showings are being held at the Langley Playhouse, 4307 200th St., and tickets (which are $15 cash only) are available at the door on the day of the performance.
“That’s right folk,” Rochon said. “These plays are written by playwrights who are local, presenting new and original works. You are their first audience.”
Where it all began
In a nutshell, the idea began last summer, said Rochon, who – up until that point – had only been involved in two plays with Langley Players.
“In the spring of 2017, I had proposed an idea to the board to utilize the space for the ‘goodwill’ of the local playwrights and actors,” he explained.
“As far as I know, not only are Langley Players actively serving the community in offering local quality theatre, but Bard in the Valley & Theatre in the Country, as well. And Surrey Little Theatre is also within close proximity.”
So, he suggested, why not offer a “fringe-type” festival in the summer and host local theatre groups that have the tools, but who lack the venue?
With a green light from Langley Players, the project is finally becoming a reality more than a year after conception.
“Emails were sent to high schools, TWU, local organizations that know people who write plays, etc. We wanted to start small for this round and thankfully, interest is already being generated for next summer now that awareness has been raised,” Rochon said.
He described the goal as “quite simple.” It is to create a platform and an opportunity for local playwrights to showcase their original works to their neighbours.
“We are not only their first audience, but we are also their biggest supporters as well.” Rochon said.
While there are only three groups mounting productions for this year’s Siloam Theatre Festival, Rochon remains optimistic that the success of this year’s event will mean more even plays in future.