It was a serving of futility topped off with a huge dose of laughter. Who knew attempting to knot a necktie could be so difficult or humorous?
Holly Zonneveld, a 37-year-old County Line area resident, still chuckles recalling the first time that she and fellow thespian Caleb Walde worked through a scene where his character, Phil Grady, teaches her character, Billie Boyce, how to bind a gaudy fashion accessory around her neck.
“I have never tied one in my life and Caleb hasn’t necessarily tied that many for someone else. The end result was very wonky and uneven – and it was an ugly tie to start with – and Billie’s next line is to say with complete sincerity that it looks fantastic. It was impossible not to laugh,” she recounted.
While this goes down as one of the funniest moments thus far in the cast’s three months of rehearsals, Zonneveld is confident there will be a few more laughs to be had before the curtain goes up Friday, Jan. 25 on Surrey Little Theatre’s production of The Garage Sale.
The self-proclaimed theatre nerd is one of three Langley residents in the cast and crew of this comedy written by B.C. playwright David King and directed by Miles Lavkulich.
Zonneveld, who has been acting on and off since she was seven, admitted that getting into character and hitting all the rehearsals for this production has been challenging.
First, there’s the issue of juggling – figuratively not literally.
She works as an academic advisor at the University of the Fraser Valley campus in Abbotsford. She’s also completing her master of science degree through Kansas State University, so between working, reading, completing assignments, and trying to carve out a little time for family and friends, it’s been a struggle sometimes to read and memorize all her lines, attend an average of nine hours of rehearsals a week, and get some time in there to sleep.
“It’s busy, but fun,” she said. “Community theatre is a big commitment, but so worth it.”
On another front, she’s found wrapping her head around playing the role of Billie required some extra effort, compared to her past roles.
“Interestingly, the part of Billie was actually written for a male actor, but director Miles Lavkulich has such creative vision that he decided to cast a female actor in the role. Aside from changing ‘he’ to ‘she,’ we haven’t changed any of the lines, so it’s been an extra challenge and really stretched me as an actor to take situations that were written for a man and interpret them as a woman.”
So, when asked about similarities between herself and her character, Zonneveld pondered how best to answer.
“Billie is about as opposite of me as someone could be, in the sense that she’s an outgoing, boisterous extrovert who makes new friends at the drop of a hat,” said Zonneveld, who’s played in a few SLT productions during the past few years.
“I am usually pretty reserved and quiet in my regular life. So, it’s been fun to play a character who has few, if any, filters. There is also a vulnerability to Billie and a sense of sometimes feeling lost in the world – a feeling I’m sure most people can relate to – I certainly can.”
This play unfolds on a suburban Canadian street, where the Grady household is about to experience the frenzy of Phil Grady’s mid-life crisis.
Against his family’s wishes, Phil is determined to change his life and move everyone to the desert.
In doing so, he plans to sell everything. The subsequent garage sale brings out a strange collection of characters, including Billie.
“From the over-enthusiastic shoppers to the nosy neighbour we’ve all known, and possibly lived next door to, these characters are just too real and too much fun not to experience,” said the director.
The Garage Sale is being presented by Surrey Little Theatre at 7027 184th St. It runs Jan. 25 to Feb. 24, Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 p.m., with three 2 p.m. Sunday matinees on Feb. 4, 11 and 18. Tickets are available by calling 604-576-8451, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or online at www.brownpapertickets.com.
“This play is a ‘day-in-the-life’ sitcom-style show with some very quirky characters and a lot of laughs. It’s pure, lighthearted entertainment for entertainment’s sake and will definitely be a fun evening out,” Zonneveld said, extending an invite.
The director concurred: “During my experience with The Last Lifeboat, I was blown away by the enthusiasm, energy, and dedication of the SLT team. And this production is shaping up to be the same as set designers, painters, costumers, props people, and stage managers have all jumped on board to work on this incredible Canadian comedy.
“And let’s be honest, we could all use a good laugh. January is the time people most need to laugh, it’s post-Christmas, it’s dark, there are bills to pay from the holidays, and resolutions to already say goodbye too,” he said. “But watching a family have a meltdown as they deal with each other and the people around them? That’s a perfect cure!”
How to win!
Two lucky Langley Advance readers will each win a pair of tickets to the upcoming showing of The Garage Sale, a comedy being presented by Surrey Little Theatre starting Jan. 25.
How do you win?
• Click here, and tell us why you want to win tickets. You will be entered into the draw. Preference will be given to Langley residents.
Postings must be received prior to midnight, Wednesday, Jan. 24, and the winner will be notified by email and/or phone. No staff or family of Black Press are eligible. This giveaway is restricted to online participants, 19 years or older only.
Must include name and phone number.
Is there more to this story?