School’s ‘ Cagebirds’ play flies to provincial festival

North Surrey Secondary’s production of Cagebirds is set to soar at this weekend’s Sears British Columbia Drama Festival.

The play will represent the Surrey zone at the provincial drama festival, to be held from Thursday to Sunday (May 1 to 4) at Douglas College in New Westminster.

To get there, Cagebirds earned the Outstanding Production title at the Surrey District Drama Festival, held Feb. 21 at Johnston Heights Secondary.

The day-long event featured 11 productions from seven secondary schools across Surrey, including six comedies and five tragedies.

Craig Wrotniak, president of the Surrey Drama Teachers’ Association and a drama/dance instructor at North Surrey Secondary, said the number and quality of productions was on the increase this year.

“The shows all looked and sounded excellent, with quick set changes between productions,” Wrotniak told the Now. “This is not always the case when youth theatre productions are taken from their home venue and staged at a different theatre for festival.

Professional theatre technicians Rob Duggan and Phil Schulze helped support the technical students, who performed their cues on lighting and sound equipment that was new to most of them.

Festival adjudicator Allan Lysell, a longtime acting professor at Douglas College, gave the Runner Up title to Fear, a production brought to the stage by Panorama Ridge Secondary.

The cast and crew will be invited to come to the provincial festival as nonperforming delegates.

North Surrey Secondary’s 45-minute Cagebirds, meanwhile, will be staged Thursday evening at the provincial festival. The play, a tragedy, was written by British playwright David Campton in 1971.

“What makes these festival performances even more amazing is that as they were happening at the same time as many of our drama teachers and their students find themselves also working to prepare their spring productions,” Wrotniak noted.

On that note, Kwantlen Park Secondary’s production of Bye Bye Birdie runs from May 7 to 10 (call 604-588-6934 for details), and Grease, another North Surrey Secondary show, hits the stage from May 20 to 30 (call 604-581-4433).

Elsewhere, Panorama Ridge Secondary recently staged a production of The Wiz at the school, on 64th Avenue.

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