Amara Gelaude turns 20 this week, just as the curtain goes up on a series of student written and directed plays at Trinity Western University.
The Langley psych major is just one of dozens of TWU students who have spent weeks gearing up for New Generations, a week-long annual theatrical festival being held at the school. Gelaude is one of the cast in Feminist Fan Club.
New Generations is a â€œfast, furious, funny play festivalâ€ boasting three brand new shows playing back-to-back every night, explained School of the Arts, Media+Culture theatre chair Angela Konrad.
â€œNew Generations is grassroots creation at its best, and for the first time in several years, every play in our 2014 festival is an original, student-written script,â€ Konrad said, noting that it features a new generation of playwrights, directors, and actors who are working feverishly to prepare the one-week explosion of live theatre.
One actor’s take on theatre and New Generations
Gelaudeâ€™s passion for the arts was ignited in elementary school when she began performing in plays and choirs, as well as studying piano and voice as a child. That passion has never wained.
During high school, she was involved in drama and musical theatre for all five years,
in Grade 8 she was cast in Woody Allenâ€™s Death, in Grade 9 she took on a role in Serving It Right, in Grade 10 she performed in the musical Honk!, Grade 11 saw her return to the stage again in the D.W. Poppy Secondary’s rendition of Grease, and in Grade 12, she wrapped up her high school stage experience with a role in Beauty and the Beast.
â€œI enjoyed being in the theatre program at my high school so much, and found that it was a great way to meet people and get involved,â€ Gelaude told the Langley Advance. â€œSo, in my first year of university, I decided that if I could, I would love to be part of that experience again.â€
Keeping her eyes peeled for audition notices, when New Generations came around last year, Gelaude decided to try out and keep that theatrical connection alive.
â€œI was lucky enough to be cast. The Feminist Fan Club,â€ along side cast mates Rachael Norman and Graeme Geddes.
â€œThey are all such talented people, as are the casts of Here and The Escaperâ€™s Song, and Iâ€™m very excited for audiences to see what weâ€™ve been working on,â€ Gelaude said.
â€œMy character, Maya, is a university sophomore with a passion for womenâ€™s rights â€“ sheâ€™s funny and strong, she knows what she believes in, and sheâ€™s not afraid to stand up for herself or anybody else,â€ she explained.
â€œSheâ€™s a bit zany and enthusiastic, I can definitely relate to that,â€ Gelaude added, drawing similarities between herself and her stage persona.
Quoting the playwright, Dillon Dean James, Gelaude said: "The Feminist Fan Club is a funny, thoughtful commentary on contemporary culture. It’s meant to build bridges between different viewpoints, using comedy as a means to start a conversation. It’s witty and fast-paced, the characters are diverse and entertaining, and it touches on a lot of interesting ideas that I think will be very relevant to audience members of any background. It’s a great show, so come with an open mind and be ready to laugh!â€
Not only is Gelaude excited about being involved in this production, but sheâ€™s psyched about being part of this week’s New Generations festival.
â€œNew Generations is a unique show because it offers such a variety of genres â€“ thereâ€™s comedy, romance, tragedy, action!â€ she said.
â€œNot only that, but it also provides the opportunity for young playwrights at Trinity to have their creations brought to life, for student directors to showcase their skills, and for students of any discipline to be part of an amazing show.â€
â€œTickets for New Generations are always in high demand, because of the unique opportunity to be part of something so fresh and intimate. Itâ€™s a treat for our audiences to witness stories told for the very first time, with all the creative energy of tomorrowâ€™s powerhouse arts professionals,â€ she said.
New Generations plays from Tuesday, Jan. 28 to Saturday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Feb. 1. Tickets range from $8 to $15 with special Tuesday/matinee discounts. For tickets, visit www.twu.ca/theatre or call 604.513.2121, ext. 3872.
How to win
A pair of tickets to the TWUâ€™s New Generations festival!
Two lucky readers will each win a pair of tickets for one of the three festival plays
How do you win?
â€¢ Like us on the Langley Advance Facebook site, find the posting about New Generations, tell us why you want to attend and youâ€™re automatically entered to win.
Preference is given to Langley residents.
Postings must be received prior to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28, and the winner will be announced on the Facebook page later that afternoon. No staff or family of the Langley Advance or Glacier Media are eligible. This giveaway is restricted to online participants, 19 years or older only.