Laugh away the winter blahs

New Generations directors enjoy the creative process. Clockwise from bottom left: Sarah Ruth, Amy Dauer, Brittany Gainer, Eleanor Felton, Megan Couch. - Jef GIBBONS/submitted photo
New Generations directors enjoy the creative process. Clockwise from bottom left: Sarah Ruth, Amy Dauer, Brittany Gainer, Eleanor Felton, Megan Couch.
— image credit: Jef GIBBONS/submitted photo

Blind dates, summer shenanigans, big box stores, monkeys — you never know what to expect in the eclectic  assortment of plays that make up New Generations, showing Jan. 29 to Feb. 2 at Trinity Western University’s School of the Arts, Media and Culture (SAMC).

Five short plays, each directed by a theatre student, and each offering plenty of laughs, come together to create one diverse and entertaining production.

“This festival is always a highlight because it showcases the depth of talent we have at TWU,” says theatre department chair, Angela Konrad.

“All the actors, directors, stage managers, and crew are students, and this year, so are two of the playwrights.”

The new plays receiving their world premieres are Building Blocks, a comedic romance by fourth year theatre major Benjamin Buckingham; and I Spy With My Little Lie, an adrenalin-laced comedy about love, deception, and Walmart penned by Nicola Prigge, a double-major in theatre and education.

“It’s so exciting to see my play come to life on stage,” says Prigge, “and it’s incredible to see people embody characters that used to exist only in my mind.”

Buckingham agrees. “There’s a kind of creative thrill in the whole process that I really wasn’t expecting. This opportunity has greatly increased my interest in playwriting,” he said.

The other plays in the line-up are: Richard Greenberg’s Life Under Water, a comic drama about the rich and spoiled; David Ives’ clever comedy about the inevitability of art, Words, Words, Words; and Jonathan Rand’s Check Please, a series of blind dates that couldn’t possibly get worse — until they do.

All five directors are taking their first shot at helming a production.

They are graduating BFA Acting students Megan Couch and Sarah Ruth; graduating theatre student Brittany Gainer; and third year theatre majors Eleanor Felton and Amy Dauer.

First year student Tiffany Kanda has the daunting task of running the show, as the festival stage manager.

In total, more than 30 students are involved in producing New Generations, including 17 actors.

Running Jan. 29 to Feb. 2, New Generations promises to be a fast-paced and funny festival, brimming with the exuberance of youth. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb.  2.

Tickets are $8 to $14 and are available at the door or at www.twu.ca/theatre.

For more information, go to the website or email theatre@twu.ca.

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