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Virginia Woolf's Orlando is coming to the stage in New West

Catch the theatrical adaptation presented by Douglas College students starting March 17.
Douglas College presents Virginia Woolf's Orlando, onstage starting March 17 at the New Westminster campus.

An adaptation of a satirical novel by Virginia Woolf is coming to the stage at Douglas College.

Orlando, adapted by Sarah Ruhl, is onstage at the Laura C. Muir Theatre at the New Westminster campus from March 17 to 24.

The adaptation of Woolf’s novel follows the journey of a poet named Orlando who undergoes a gender transformation from male to female at age 30 and lives for centuries more — from the court of Queen Elizabeth I all the way to modern times.

Along the way, the play confronts some themes that resonate throughout the ages: finding yourself, keeping up with life, adjusting to change, and discovering your sexual orientation.

“At the beginning of the play, the character of Orlando is on a never-ending journey to escape himself, ironically forcing him to face the complex experiences that make us who we are,” director Thrasso Petras said in a press release.

Petras said it’s important to share stories like this one, focusing on themes of gender, sexuality and identity, especially at a time when conversations around such topics are prevalent — and sometimes controversial.

“The notion of gender fluidity is not a recent one. It is centuries old,” Petras said. “If Virginia Woolf and her friends were alive today, they would revel in the current multi-faceted movement of gender.”

The cast includes New Westminster’s Pay Kedar, along with Elijah Bamberry, Celine Nguyen Ho Favilla, Kiyomi Hoover, Marni Nitchie,  Kalie Panzenboeck and Zach Stubley.

Orlando runs March 17 to 24.

Evening shows (7:30 p.m.) are on Friday, March 17; Saturday, March 18; Tuesday, March 21; Wednesday, March 22; Thursday, March 23; and Friday, March 24. There are also matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 18 and Wednesday, March 22. Tickets start at $12.58; buy through Eventbrite.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
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