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New Westminster, Burnaby actors star on Metro Vancouver stages

Catch your neighbours onstage with Bard on the Beach, Arts Club and Theatre Under the Stars this season.

Performers from New Westminster and Burnaby are getting set to tread the boards this summer on stages around Metro Vancouver.

Those who’ve been hankering for the return of live theatre as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic can keep their eyes open for their neighbours on some of the Vancouver theatre scene’s highest-profile stages in June, July and August.

Some highlights:

Bard on the Beach 2022: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet

What's on: Vancouver’s popular Shakespeare festival returns to Sen̓áḵw/Vanier Park for its 33rd season, running June 8 to Sept. 24. Audiences can catch A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and Djanet Sears’ Harlem Duet, plus Opera & Arias, a Vancouver Symphony Orchestra concert, Bard-B-Q and Fireworks nights  and more.

Who to watch for: Burnaby resident Sarah Roa appears as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Filipina Canadian actor has a theatre diploma from Douglas College and a bachelor of fine arts in acting from UBC. She’s been seen in shows such as Wonderland (Alberta Theatre Projects); The Turn of the Screw (Aenigma Theatre); Robinson Crusoe + Friday (Axis Theatre); The Drowning Girls (Theatre NorthWest); and Pride and Prejudice (Arts Club).

Tickets and info: For full ticket and schedule information, check out the Bard on the Beach website.

Arts Club Theatre: Kinky Boots

What's on: It’s musical time! The iconic pop music of Cyndi Lauper meets the Tony Award–winning writing of Harvey Fierstein in the Broadway spectacular Kinky Boots — playing on the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage from June 9 to July 31.

Who to watch for: New Westminster’s own Barbara Tomasic directs, and hometown performer Sayer Roberts stars as Charlie Price. Roberts his joined by none other than his mom — that would be Colleen Winton, in the cast as Trish — and fellow local Kelli Ogmundson as Lauren.

The show also features a trio of Burnaby talents: Jeffrey Follis, appearing in the ensemble and as an Angel; Denzel Onaba, who plays Young Lola; and Ken Cormier, the show’s musical director and keyboard player.

Tickets and info: Tickets start at $43. Buy online.

Theatre Under the Stars: Something Rotten! and We Will Rock You

Yes, live musical theatre returns to Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park, with Something Rotten! and We Will Rock You playing alternate evenings from July 2 to Aug. 27.

What's on: Something Rotten! is a satire that follows two playwright siblings, Nick and Nigel Bottom, in the Renaissance era, when their dreams of writing a hit show are thwarted by Shakespeare’s wild success. We Will Rock You, meanwhile, zooms into the future to tell a futuristic tale of freedom fighters, powered by the music of Queen.

Who to watch for: Both productions have multiple local connections. In Something Rotten!, Daniel Curalli, who grew up on the border of New West and Burnaby, stars as Shakespeare. Katie-Rose Connors, who lives in Burnaby, appears as Bea. Amanda Lourenço (Lady Clapham/ensemble) grew up in New West, while Laura Cowan (Minstrel) was born and raised in Burnaby. You’ll also catch New Westminster’s Julia Schwartz, a St. Thomas More Collegiate grad and member of the Royal City Youth Ballet company, in multiple roles, and current New Westminster resident Thomas Schultes in the ensemble. Plus, the production is choreographed by Burnaby resident Nicol Spinola.

We Will Rock You stars Simon Auclair-Troughton of New Westminster (Queensborough, to be precise) as Buddy, and you’ll find fellow New Westie Stefie Gomez in the ensemble.

Tickets and info: Early-bird tickets ($20 to $55) are on sale now through June 16. Starting June 17, tickets range from $30 to $65. Buy online.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
Email Julie, [email protected].