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Youth-driven 'Webs We Weave' play excites Surrey teen

A Surrey teen is featured prominently in a new play written and performed by Vancouver-area youth.

Whalley resident Sophie Elder-Labrie, 18, works with Some Assembly Theatre Company, which produces youth-driven plays designed to build awareness, promote wellness and encourage dialogue about issues facing teens.

The company's Roundhouse Youth Theatre Action Group Project, or RHYTAG, this week stages Webs We Weave, the script of which involves "a merrygo-round of relationships at the strangest 18th birthday party ever," according to one synopsis.

"Most of the subject matter is about teen issues - confusion and identity, relationships, those kind of things," said Elder-Labrie, who plays Sage in the play.

"(The character is) starting to realize that through most of her life, she's focused on other people and that she doesn't really know how to deal with herself," the actor explained. "Now she's realizing that she hasn't experienced the world herself."

Elder-Labrie is among 11 youth who began writing the play's script last fall, in collaboration with Some Assembly's theatre artists, including Ken Lawson, the show's artistic producer and youth support worker.

"Sophie has been with us for four years, so she's one of longer-term youth we've had in this cast, and the growth we've seen in her is incredible," Lawson told the Now.

"She's also part of the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, which is one of our community partners, and she sings an original song in the play, her own song, as her character. She wrote the song, and one of our mentors at the school of music helped arrange it, which is actually really cool. There's a choral piece in the middle of the play where

everyone gets involved in singing Sophie's song."

Elder-Labrie said the process of creating Webs We Weave has meant several months of hard work but also a great amount excitement for her and the others involved.

"It's worth all the work to have the play finished

and now get it to the stage," she said. "It feels good, especially because it's a big collaboration with so many people. It's a little adventure.... For as long as I can remember, I've been drawn to this sort of thing."

Webs We Weave opened Wednesday (April 29) and continues until Saturday at

Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in Vancouver. Admission is by donation. For show details, visit Someassembly. ca or

To view a minute-long trailer for the play, click on