Fort Langley's Jaclyn Lowdermilk spent much of her summer studying.
The 20-year-old aspiring teacher entered her third year of studies at Langley's Trinity Western University last month. And knowing she'd be carrying a full load of seven courses during the fall semester, she devoted a chunk of vacation to prep.
But that didn't mean her nose was stuck in a book, or that she lost herself in academia. Quite the contrary, in fact.
It meant Lowdermilk doubled her intake of British television.
Lowdermilk had to learn an English accent for her role in TWU's upcoming production of Go Back For Murder, and she was told the best way to pickup on the dialect was - short of travelling to England - to immerse herself in the world of the BBC.
Already a fan of shows like The Tudors and Downton Abbey, she said it wasn't much of a hardship.
And her time spent on "homework" is paying off, as she and the rest of the TWU cast prepare to debut an Agatha Christie murder mystery.
Lowdermilk is playing Elsa Greer, the mistress of the murder victim.
In this drama, which spans the 1950s and '60s, a woman named Caroline Crale is imprisoned for murdering her husband. But when Caroline's daughter Carla (played by fellow Langleyite Julie Casselman) comes of age 16 years later, she receives a secret letter her mother wrote before her death, assuring her daughter she was innocent.
Carla enlists the help of a young lawyer to delve into the past and find out what really happened.
"This show has everything you could want in a murder mystery," said Casselman. "Clues and red herrings, death by poison, romance where you least expect it, and of course the gorgeous mansion with a host of quirky characters."
Lowdermilk, a Langley Fine Arts grad, has been immersed in drama since kindergarten, having played the lead in her Grade 12 production of The Ash Girl.
But deciding to pursue a degree in education with two minors in social studies and theatre, Lowdermilk said this production is her first venture back into drama since high school.
And anxious to get her part right, she happily committed the time needed this summer to watching TV and learning how to properly pronounce her Ds, Ts, and Ks like a true Brit.
She and the rest of the cast have been rehearsing four days or about 20 hours a week since classes began in September in preparation for the debut on Oct. 23. The show runs Tuesdays through Saturdays until Nov. 3, with shows at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday-only matinees at 2 p.m. Ticket information is available at www.twu.ca/theatre.
Just in time for Halloween, Trinity Western University's School of the Arts, Media and Culture (SAMC) presents Go Back For Murder, this play adapted from a book by reigning queen of whodunits, Agatha Christie.
It is dubbed a mod 1960s story of murder, intrigue, and romance.
Among the suspects, Casselman's (who also appears in flashbacks as Carla's mother) character investigates are a femme fatale, a secretive governess, a tycoon with a vendetta, and the friendly chemist who might be up to more than science.
There's only one murderer, but everyone has something to hide.
In addition to Casselman and Lowdermilk's involvement, this production also stars Benjamin Buckingham, Mark Fleming, Cody Friesen, Charissa Hurt, Sarah Ruth, David Shoffner, Liz Squires, and William Tippery.
It is directed by Lloyd Arnett, with costumes by Sabrina Evertt, lighting by Alia Stephen, and set by Jay Havens.
It's stage managed by Andrew Gundy, Brittany Gainer, and Audrey Herold.