Rebecca Strom from New Westminster

Langley actors part of Titanic fundraiser

Langley thespians join in special showings of The Last Lifeboat.

The ship needs to sail from Clayton Heights to Chilliwack by July, and the only way it’s possible to make the journey is by bringing it back to the surface and breathing some life into it again for three consecutive nights next week.

The sunk ship being alluded to is the Titanic. And, its resurrection – or at least that of its likeness – is the one created by a team of Langley and Surrey thespians for the community theatre production of The Last Lifeboat.

A month ago, during the Fraser Valley Zone Festival in Langley – a regional community theatre competition – Surrey Little Theatre beat out six other theatre groups to scoop up top honours for its production of The Last Lifeboat.

Lifeboat is a play about the sinking of the Titanic and the story of J. Bruce Ismay, the chairman of White Star Lines, and his decision to save himself rather than going down with the ship.

During the week-long regional theatre competition adjudicated by Stephen Drover, SLT’s Dale Kelly was recognized in his “outstanding role as director.

The 25-member SLT team (actors, production team, and crew) were also given an award for outstanding backstage cooperation.

And Lifeboat was ultimately selected overall as the most outstanding production.

Winning the regional competition in Langley last month means SLT goes on to compete at the provincials (Mainstage) being held in Chilliwack on July 4.

To make that trek possible – complete with the cast, crew, and sets – production manager and actor Mike Busswood of Langley explained that SLT needs to raise a little extra coin.

SLT is putting on three additional showings of the play next week, to help cover the costs of taking this complicated rendition of the play, its 15-member cast (each playing multiple roles), and its demanding succession of scenes to Chilliwack next month.

“I’m extremely pleased and excited that our show has won Theatre BC’s Fraser Valley Zone,” said Busswood, who is joined in this production by fellow Langleyites Jay Martens and Owen Carlson.

“It gives us an opportunity to do our show again in a much bigger venue for an audience of our peers from all over the province,” he concluded.

The fundraising showings of The Last Lifeboat are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (June 23 to 25) at Surrey Little Theatre, 7027 184th St. Tickets are $15 and available at 604-576-8451; email reservations@surreylittletheatre.com; or go to www.brownpapertickets.com.

Nightly performances start at 8 p.m.

Surrey Little Theatre’s production of The Last Lifeboat is the Canadian premiere of this Luke Yankee play.

PHOTO: The cast that brought the Titanic to the stage of Surrey Little Theatre this spring have won a regional theatre competition and resurrecting The Last Lifeboat for three showings next week to raise money to go to the provincial competition in July. (Tom Taylor photo)

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