Geneva Perkins can totally identify with her character’s nerdiness and infatuation with Shakespeare, because it mirrors the 25-year-old Walnut Grove native to a tee.
“ I love absorbing anything interesting about theatre, however useless it might seem,” said Perkins, who is playing the main character of Holly in Such A Heart As Yours, a play opening Friday night and running until June 12 at the Langley Playhouse in Brookswood.
Such a Heart is a fun, hilarious new take on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but it’s set in the modern day with a group of millennials – instead of Elizabethans.
Holly, who has just earned her PhD at 25, has dragged her best friends to England to help on her book, based on her dissertation.
“She is extremely driven and passionate about Shakespeare and just gaining knowledge in general, but because she is so intensely focused on her education and her career, she has let certain parts of her life, like her friendships and romance, fall to the side,” reflected Perkins, a Langley Fine Arts grad who started theatre, music, and dance classes at a young age.
“I really admire [Holly’s] focus and ambition. However, I hope that, emotionally, I’m a little more self-aware than she is,” she shared with the Langley Advance.
Perkins rounds out the Such as Heart cast alongside Russell Blower, Amelia Ross, Josh Tompke, Thomas Smith, and Ashley Gonzalez-Rivas.
Perkins, who studied theatre at the University of the Fraser Valley with the playwright Cait Archer, is already making a name for herself in the professional theatre world in Vancouver.
“I’ve been doing theatre in school since I was six, and then got involved in community and university theatre about seven years ago. Since the end of high school, I’ve been involved in roughly 30 different theatrical productions,” she said.
Perkins has acted multiple times with the Chilliwack Players Guild and Secondary Characters in Chilliwack, as well as worked with Twenty-Something Theatre in Vancouver.
She is mainly an actor, but has also been in a couple musicals and enjoys singing and dancing. Perkins noted that during her years at university, she became involved in many aspects of theatre production including directing, designing, and stage managing.
“When I heard they [Archer and her team] wanted to do a touring production of Such a Heart, I was really excited to get involved and very happy that they cast me,” she explained.
“I’ve worked with almost everyone on this show before, through UFV, so I really wanted to work with them again,” she said, excited to be involved in this production for other reasons, too.
“The most rewarding part of being involved in this production, is seeing all of my friends stepping up and taking initiative to produce their own show, and the all-hands-on-deck environment they’ve created,” she added.
Rehearsing for Such a Heart started in late April, and the cast has been rehearsing twice a week since then.
“Any time we’re all in rehearsal together, it’s constant goofing around and always hilarious. It’s hard to pick one [funniest moment], but I would have to say that there’s one scene in the show – between myself and another actor –where we’re supposed to have lots of awkward pauses and silences, and I don’t know if I’ve ever had to work so hard to keep from breaking. At one point I was laughing so hard I started crying and just had to keep going.”
This comedy is set to open tonight (Friday, June 3) at the Langley Playhouse, running through until June 12 – nine performances in total.
“Such a Heart is hilarious, fast-paced, trippy, and heart-wrenching all at once. It’s a roller coaster ride of a play in the best way,” said Perkins, who is also in rehearsal right now for two other shows: Liberty, also by Cait Archer, that is being taken to the Winnipeg Fringe Festival in July, as well as Twelve Minute Madness, by Raina von Waldenburg, that will be performing at The Cultch in Vancouver in October.
Tickets for Such A Heart are $15 at suchaheartasyours.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets.