Langley Players take on technology

Langley Players present
Langley Players present 'For Better' a comedy that explores the role of technology in modern life.
— image credit: submitted photo

Patrons at the Langley Playhouse are accustomed to being asked to turn their cellphones off during performances, however the Players’ next hilarious production, called For Better, will feature a cornucopia of communication devices and electronic gadgets right on stage.

The story centers around Karen, a woman who believes she has met the man of her dreams, and agrees to marry him. 

As the story unfolds, Karen’s friends and family, wherever they happen to be in the world, express their opinions about the situation through the magic of airwaves and cyberspace. Their views range from outright excitement to jealousy to disbelief, and some even express strong reservations about the upcoming nuptials.

Everything from the unorthodox marriage proposal to the unexpected presentation of the engagement ring will keep audiences guessing.

Director Angela Bell is very passionate about the story, particularly as an avid user of electronic communication devices. “But people shouldn’t feel that they need to be versed in the use of computers, cellphones or any other digital devices," says Bell.

“The story is really self explanatory as it unfolds, and anyone can relate to the events and characters in the play. I think even if you don’t travel much or use email, etc. you probably know someone who does – maybe it’s your grandson who constantly text messages friends, or your wife who can’t put her iPhone down.

"The play sort of pokes fun at the dependence many of us have with our gadgets, and I find it honest and truthful, both in its relevance to today’s society and especially in its comedy. The first time I read this play I couldn’t stop laughing, and I look forward to sharing the hilarity with our patrons.” 

The cast features six characters, played by a hard-working group of actors.  Joe Tenta from Langley plays Wally Baedeker, the father of both Karen Baedeker, played by Alaina Holland of Surrey, and Francine Dexter, played by Shannon Lee of Langley.

Fresh off the run of Office Hours as the One Armed Man, Richard Penny and his own brother Neil, is another Langley actor, Philip Hale, who plays Stuart Tramontane, the Verizon wireless range tester.

Rounding out the cast is Ashley Sutton of Surrey, who plays “Lizzie Monohan,” good friend to Karen and Francine. This is Ashley’s first time walking the boards of the Langley Playhouse. Stage Managing the whole enterprise are Cyndy Dwyer and Gina Challenger, both of Langley. 

“Part of our mandate as a club is to educate our members and create opportunities for them to grow, so we have a lot of mentorship going on with this show," said Bell.

"It also helps foster that feeling of teamwork, and I can’t express how fundamental that is if we are to continue growing and bringing quality live theatre to the community of Langley."

For Better will run Thursdays to Sundays from Jan. 20 to Feb. 19.  Show times are 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. All tickets are $15, and Season Passes are now available for $30 for the remainder of the season. Visit www.langleyplayers.com for more information. The reservation line is open at 604-534-7469, or patrons may reserve on-line at reservations@langleyplayers.com.

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