It's quite a week of accomplishments for Langley's Diane Gendron.
The life-long thespian was on stage in Kamloops last weekend, being crowned the Diamond of the Year for Theatre BC, and will be back on stage this weekend - this time in South Langley - with the debut of Bard in the Valley's The Comedy of Errors.
"Theatre BC gave me a lovely award on the weekend," Gendron said, elated just to be part of the Mainstage theatrical competition in the Interior last week, where she was presented the achievement award.
Mainstage is the annual provincial theatre festival for community theatre groups throughout B.C. And Gendron was chosen for this special recognition for her work,
both on and off stage, explained Theatre BC vicepresident Penny Bayne, who presented the award.
"Having grown up from an early age participating in the arts, Diane Gendron has - since retirement - been active with the Langley Players Drama Club, serving on the board of directors," Bayne said.
But the list of credits didn't end there. Gendron, a 65-year-old South Langley resident, has also been involved with Bard in the Valley since its inception four years ago - serving as president and producing the summer plays.
She represents the Langley Players and Bard in the Valley as a director on the Langley Arts Council board, and until its demise last year was active with the former Murrayville Performers.
She's a member of the Surrey Little Theatre - on stage in their 2011 fall production of At First Sight. And she won a gold medal for best actress at the BC Seniors Games in 2012 for the role of a slightly eccentric character in a one-act play, Love, Lies, and In-Betweens.
Gendron has also been responsible for organizing workshops for the Langley Players this past year and has assisted with publicity with various local theatre groups through the years.
Given all of her efforts, it's no surprise she was selected for the honour, Bayne said, noting the diamond honour is given to a person who provides leadership and opportunities for participation and education in theatre, and who shares the enjoyment of diverse theatre experiences. "What a delightful bonus to be recognized for something I love to do," Gendron said.
"I feel most fortunate to be involved with the creative and interesting people who volunteer their time, expertise, and energy in our theatre community," she added.
"I look forward to welcoming audiences to this summer's Bard in the Valley production of The Comedy of Errors."
Bard visits the vineyard This year's Bard production opens this weekend (Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20) and runs two weekends (through to July 27) at the Township 7 winery, nightly at 6:30 p.m. There will be four showings in total at the winery. But tickets to these showing - set against the backdrop of the vineyard - benefit Bard in the Valley.
The tickets are $20 each, with some of the proceeds going to support Bard in the Valley with reservations at 604-532-1766.
Gendron and the Bard team then move their production of The Comedy of Errors to the Spirit Square stage at Douglas Park next month.
The shows are free, and run Aug. 8-11 and 15-18.
The Bard team will also present scenes from the production during the Aug. 17 Arts Alive Festival in downtown Langley, and performing the final two showings of the Bard production at the International Festival at the Langley Events Centre on Aug. 24 and 25. Evening performances begin at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Again the shows are free.
Bard in the Valley productions are dedicated to the concept of making the performances available
and affordable to a wide audience, Gendron said.
For a full schedule, people can visit www.bardinthevalley.com.
Bard enticing the youth For the first time, Bard in the Valley is partnering with the Langley Players to offer something specific for young people.
A five-day workshop begins next week aimed at aspiring young actors between the ages of 10 and 15, Gendron explained.
Fifteen young people will be introduced to improv theatre techniques and games, script writing, costuming, makeup, set design, and set construction and decoration during the new youth camp.
The program runs Tuesday, July 23 to Saturday, July 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, at the Langley Playhouse, with participants performing a play for friends and family on the final day.
The camp is already full, and Gendron was "delighted with the response that we had," noting they've had to "sadly" turn away a lot of interested young people.
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