New West students present an iconic Canadian play

Douglas College theatre students are offering up an iconic Canadian dark comedy in New Westminster.

The school’s department of theatre and department of stagecraft and event technology are presenting Morris Panych’s 7 Stories, onstage March 15 to 22 at the Douglas College Studio Theatre.

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The play gives an insight into the lives of extraordinary characters who are oblivious to the fact that they are conversing with a man, standing on a seventh-storey ledge, who is contemplating suicide.

“They say comedy is hard, and ‘they’ are right,” said Thrasso Petras, Douglas College theatre program coordinator and the play’s director, in a press release. “The temptation with comedy is to work the frothy surface, to go for the obvious gags, or worse, add gags that, while they may be funny on their own, are out of context and self-indulgent.

“The challenge for any actor, and certainly for our students, is to relish in the extreme absurdities of the humour while grounding their actions in a multi-layered bedrock of nuance and meaning, which is what makes the moment recognizable and relatable for the audience. It’s an extraordinarily sophisticated thing to do.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the play – which premiered at the no-longer-standing Arts Club Theatre on Seymour Street, where Petras first saw it.

“It’s one of those plays where there is a quotable moment on almost every page,” Petras said. “It draws from references in character and style from across the 20th century and challenges actors with poetic moments that, when fully invested in, take flight.”

Cast members include Roisin D’Mello, Hailey Conner, Jaime Kerr, Timothy Lim and Jordy Matheson.

For tickets and showtimes, see 7stories.bpt.me.

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© New West Record
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