Sometimes it takes an outsider to see the uniqueness of a place.
Ross Browne and his family moved from Scotland to Canada in 2006, and now this Trinity Western University study is on stage playing the most quinessentially Canadian thing – a Mountie.
Browne, studying sociology, is cast in The Longest Way Home in the TWU New Generations, a one-week festival of plays written and/or directed by current and former students.
“I was extremely excited to find out that I would be donning the red serge in The Longest Way Home,” Browne said. “Purely by coincidence I imagine, as I don’t think the director was aware that I plan to apply to the RCMP after graduation, and that I currently volunteer with them here in Langley. Maybe some things are just meant to be.”
The six-member cast includes everyone from first years to fifth years.
“The show is a showcase in student-led theatre. Some of the plays were written by past and present students, all of the backstage work is being done by students, and even the directors are upperclassmen,” he explained. “Adult supervision checks in about once a week to make sure that nothing is on fire.”
For Browne, the show is a chance to have some fun spotlighting quirks of his adopted homeland, even if they are sometimes hard to wrap his head around.
“The fascination with maple syrup and its liberal and frequent usages here in Canada has certainly left me puzzled many times, and this quirk and others make an appearance in The Longest Way Home,” he said.
The show is an adventurous take on the will-they-won’t-they love story set in the far reaches of Saskatchewan. A group of hot-shot American spies get way more than they bargained for in the Great White North. While they try to ignore the unrequited love issues in the team, a mischievous alliance of rogue Mounties gives them a run for their money.
Browne’s decision to be in the play comes on top of an already full schedule of study, Spartan athletics and two part-time jobs.
“Both of them require consistency in both effort and determination. You can’t miss a day of practice or rehearsal,” he commented. “It is the challenge of trying something new, and doing it well that drove me to participate in both.”
New Generations features two other productions and runs at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2 to 6 and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6. Ticket information is at firstname.lastname@example.org, 604-513-2121 ext. 3872, or twu.ca/theatre.
Chasing Tina, written and directed by graduating arts students, is an offbeat romantic comedy poking fun at everything from trendy diets to the modern dating scene. It should be love-at-first-smoothie for an idealistic philosophy student and the cynical barista.
In The Wooden Pear, by award-winning playwright Gillian Plowman, a troubled man fresh out of prison comes face-to-face with the victim of his crime and the encounter changes both their lives.
To see the 2016 New Generations video, click HERE.
A pair of tickets tickets to the New Generations Festival
A lucky reader will win two tickets to the Trinity Western University School of the Arts, Music + Culture.
How do you win?
You will be entered into the draw. Preference will be given to Langley residents. No staff or family of the Langley Advance or Black Press are eligible. This giveaway is restricted to online participants, 19 years or older only. Must include name and phone number. The deadline to enter is 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 5. The winner must be available to attend the Feb. 5 or Feb. 6 performances.