Michael Charrois, Keara Barnes, Ian Harmon and Toni Reimer star in Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s production of Norm Foster’s “Screwball Comedy,” at Surrey Arts Centre on March 13-14 as part of a regional tour. (submitted photo)

COLUMN ON THE ARTS

MINTY: Live theatre is very much alive in Surrey

In Newton, arts council hosts ‘Promotion 101’ event on March 14

By Melanie Minty, arts columnist

It never ceases to amaze me how many of our citizens of Surrey immerse themselves in the world of live theatre. There is a wealth of community theatre opportunities for performers, and an astounding selection of productions – from amateur to professional — available for your viewing pleasure. All within easy access, mostly complimentary parking, and no bridges to cross! What all of these very worthwhile productions need now are audience members. That could be you.

Royal Canadian Theatre Company does have a home base in Surrey, and does bring many entertaining options throughout the season. On tour for 2020 is Screwball Comedy by Norm Foster (that Canadian King of Comedy). What a great idea to exit winter with a laugh! Directed by Ellie King, RCTC’s production is the Western Canadian premiere of this spoof, with a spice of mystery.

You can’t really have a spoof without outrageous characters. Starring in this RCTC production are Keara Barnes, Michael Charrois, Ian Harmon and Toni Reimer. Outstanding. You can catch Screwball Comedy at the Surrey Arts Centre on March 13 and 14. Call 604-501-5566, or visit tickets.surrey.ca. There are several showings outside of Surrey in case these dates don’t fit your schedule. Check the company’s website (rctheatreco.com) for tour stops.

(Column continues below)

Elsewhere, FVGSS, A Musical Theatre Society is holding auditions now for Anything Goes. This springtime production from this active amateur theatre group was put on hold for a bit while they scouted for affordable venues for the production. So, time delay, but now Anything Goes is, um, well, a go. You won’t see any pay packet for your participation, but what an experience! Sing. Dance. Act. And tap dance. This musical is very heavy on tap dancing.

Audition dates are March 5, 8 and 10, and you have to book your audition time with producer Sydney at fvgssproducer@gmail.com. Rehearsals are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from April 5 to July 12, and the production runs at White Rock Playhouse from July 16-20.

Prepare for your audition: Prepare two contrasting Broadway musical songs to sing (32-bar cut – verse and chorus), bring sheet music (hole-punched and in binder), no a capella and no recordings. Auditionees must be at least 16 years of age.

FVGSS does have audition tips on their website (fvgss.org) that are extremely helpful. I know there are lots of people out there who can sing, act and tap dance. Don’t hesitate to audition. Above all, be prepared, and be confident. And please – even though you don’t get paid, the experience can be most valuable. Commit to the rehearsal and performance schedule. Be brave, and professional.

FVGSS is one of the cultural performing groups in Surrey that does receive cultural grants from the City of Surrey. The society says many thanks to city staff and council for their support. Now, Anything Goes can go. C’mon, it is a good line!

So, there are some things you can add to your I Support The Arts campaign. Like I said at the beginning, we have a wealth of choices. And how do we find out about these opportunities? The organizations, clubs and arts societies do promote their product. Some are better than others at the task. You would think in this age of constant contact through Facebook, Twitter and other internet and print-media platforms, every voice will be heard.

Well, my friends, the Arts Council of Surrey and the City of Surrey truly do want to help you with your promotion. Creative Conference 2020 is called “Promotion 101.” The speakers and workshops are all designed to further your knowledge in how to effectively promote your product.

The event will be at Newton Cultural Centre (13620 72nd Ave.) on Saturday, March 14. This all-day event is free to attend, and lunch is included. You must register. Go to the artscouncilofsurrey.ca for more information, and register at info@artscouncilofsurrey.ca. Workshop sessions include Marketing, Branding, Emailing and even advice on how to be Google Friendly. One problem area that cannot be solved with this conference: parking at NCC is tight. So here is my user-friendly tip: Park in the Newton Crossing parking lot (southeast corner of King George Boulevard and 72nd Avenue), near CIBC. Walk across King George and follow the painted sidewalk to the cultural centre, just to the west of the gas station on the corner.

Arts and Entertainment

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