Year 2 students from the Canadian College of Performing Arts rehearse a scene from Middletown, opening Thursday night at the CCPA performance hall on Elgin Road in Oak Bay. Photo by Peter Pokony

Art imitating life on stage at CCPA this week

Performing arts college students anxious to get on stage in Oak Bay

Life imitates art, some say, but in the case of a group of Year 2 students from the Canadian College of Performing Arts, it could well be the other way around.

Twenty-one of the 32 budding performers currently enrolled in second-year studies at CCPA have been cast in Stage Door, part of the college’s repertory theatre program and one of two such shows premiering this week in Oak Bay.

The story, written in 1935 by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman, portrays the trials and tribulations of a group of budding young actresses in the 1930s who live together in a New York boarding house and are looking for that big break that could land them on a Broadway stage. The story centres around one of those young women, Terry Randall, and her efforts to climb the theatrical ladder alongside her friends.

Also read: Ancient #MeToo story comes to the stage, courtesy CCPA

“That whole wanting to be on the stage is what is running through the school,” director Jim Leard says of the parallels between the story and life at CCPA. “They want go to Broadway, they want to go to New York. I look at this as training for them and I tell them ‘get ready to experience it all.’”

The Stage Door cast also mirrors the demographic of the student population at the college, with 17 women and four men on stage at various times.

Leard says the group is ready to go on this first public performance of a play this school year. “They’re at a stage where now we just need the audience.”

Stage Door opens Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at in the CCPA performance hall at 1701 Elgin Rd.

Meanwhile, the other 11 CCPA Year 2 students have been hard at work preparing Middletown. The Will Eno-penned piece explores the day-to-day experiences of people in a small town, how their lives intersect and the sometimes dark elements of their past that gradually get revealed to the audience.

Directed by Stuart Aikins, the play focuses on the friendship that develops between a longtime resident and a new arrival. Along the way, the lives of Middletown inhabitants intersect in strange and poignant ways.

Middletown offers up a “deeply compelling, funny journey” that follows the characters from the local library to outer space and points between. This tale of “normal” townspeople is anything but.

This show premieres Thursday at 7:30 p.m., with subsequent performances Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday night at 7:30. Subsequent performances for Stage Door go Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.

Both shows run approximately two hours and 45 minutes, with 15-minute intermissions. Tickets are available online at eventbrite.ca or at the college. Find more information visit ccpacanada.com/.

editor@mondaymag.com

Live theatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island dance classes billed as female empowerment tool

New Comox Valley business focuses on ‘promoting positive body image’

Duncan’s Big Stick lights up red to signal COVID’s devastation of the arts

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

Voting now ready for Oak Bay’s Arts Alive 2020 sculptures

Audio and written descriptions posted for all 10 sculptures

Snuneymuxw artist brings aquatic designs to Nanaimo’s Beban Park pool

Work by artist Eliot White-Hill is being installed at the pool this month

Nanaimo musician plays all instruments on DIY debut album

Jamie Penner releasing guitar-centric instrumental record ‘Out of Curiosity’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Hospice worker and patient butt heads in upcoming Nanaimo theatre production

Yellow Point Drama Group presents ‘Grace and Glorie’ at Cedar Community Hall

Art+Earth Festival gets growing this weekend

Find out what events are in-person and what’s happening online

Film about missing and murdered indigenous women makes Nanaimo debut

A mother and daughter search for answers in Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s ‘Rustic Oracle’

Nanaimo’s Harbour City Photography Club goes virtual to adapt to COVID-19

Club’s exhibitions, meetings and presentations are now occurring online

Most Read