The curtain goes up this weekend on not just one, but five different community theatre productions at the Langley Playhouse.
Theatre groups from throughout the Fraser Valley come together between May 20 and 26 for what is called the Theatre BC's zone festival.
It's not about Langley Players, but the Brookswood drama club is hosting this event, which rotates around participating towns each year, explained Players president Angela Bell.
"The festival is about the theatre community as a whole entity. It's really an educational experience, and it's about the TBC member clubs working and playing together," she said.
Each theatre group brings what is believed to be its best production of the year to the regional stage, hoping then to qualify for the provincials called Mainstage, being held in Kamloops at the beginning of July.
Last year, the Langley Players won best in B.C., scooping up seven of 19 awards for their production of Lost in Yonkers. This year they're entering their recent production of The Stillborn Lover on the opening night Sunday.
Other performances during the week include Surrey Little Theatre's production of Mending Fences on Monday, Theatrix's production of Next to Normal on Tuesday night, Stage 43's showing of Mauritius on Wednesday, and Emerald Pig Theatrical Society's production of A Particular Class of Women on Friday. The annual general meeting and a workshop will be offered Thursday.
"We have had an excellent response in terms of attendance, but there are a few seats left - with sales coming in daily I don't expect them to last long," said Bell, advising anyone interested in attending to buy tickets - which when sold as singles are $15 each - in advance from their website at www.langleyplayers.com.
"Sure, there will be a winner chosen, but every entry club is already a winner, having poured heart and soul into each production and having the courage to enter into competition," said Bell.
The competition element is meant to motivate each group to strive for excellence, Bell said, excited about hosting this year's festival and expressing gratitude to Langley Township for a grant that helped finance the endeavour.
"I am proud that Langley Players is hosting, and many Langley volunteers are working hard behind the scenes to see that each club is supported and has everything they need from our end to accomplish the daunting task of moving a show to a space they have not performed in before," she explained.
"We have an adjudicator, this year Stephen Drover, who comes to see all the shows and spends time with each cast the day after their performance to show them ways they can improve certain aspects of performance and/or design.
"Stephen is very talented and we are all excited to learn from him. On the final Saturday night, we will have an awards gala, where the adjudicator will present awards to his picks from the festival."
The winner from this year's regional competition will then move on to the provincials.