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Vagabond Players stage classic drama

Tea and Sympathy onstage at Bernie Legge Theatre April 7 to 23
Tea and Sympathy, Vagabond Players
Ethan Shankaruk and Annie Arbuckle in Tea and Sympathy, the next outing in the Vagabond Players’ theatre season at Bernie Legge Theatre.

A groundbreaking drama about a sensitive young man’s coming of age at a private boys’ school is the next outing for the Vagabond Players.

The theatre group continues its season with Robert Anderson’s classic drama Tea and Sympathy, onstage at the Bernie Legge Theatre in Queen’s Park from April 7 to 23.

Ethan Shankaruk stars as Tom Lee, a sensitive and lonely student whose refusal to involve himself in roughhousing with his classmates causes him to be misunderstood and hounded by his peers.

Annie Arbuckle co-stars as Laura Reynolds, the wife of the housemaster, who befriends him and counters the cruelty of the other students. Carl Wiebe appears as Bill Reynolds, Laura’s husband, whose harsh attitude towards Tom “reflects the ambiguities in his own emotional makeup,” as a press release notes.

Though the play dates back to 1953 and was famously made into a 1956 film starring Deborah Kerr and John Kerr, the messages it contains still resonate in the modern world.

“Even more relevant in today’s electronic world where bullying has burgeoned to new levels, the play challenges our social mores and highlights the fact that humanity sometimes is more important than convention,” the release notes.

The cast is rounded out by Charlotte Wright, Jeremy Heynen, Catlin Corey Franks, Owen Caddell, Adam Beggs, Eli Johnston and Kurtis Maguire as the other students and staff members.

Tea and Sympathy is onstage April 7 to 23, with shows Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15, or $13 for seniors and youth, with $10 previews on April 7 and 8.

Buy at or call 604-521-0412.

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