The opening-night curtain call for “A Late Snow” actors Nicki Regnier, Jennifer Tiles, Taylor Stutchbury, Amy Starkey and Rachel Gadd, from left to right, at Bethany-Newton United Church in Surrey on Thursday night, Nov. 17. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

The opening-night curtain call for “A Late Snow” actors Nicki Regnier, Jennifer Tiles, Taylor Stutchbury, Amy Starkey and Rachel Gadd, from left to right, at Bethany-Newton United Church in Surrey on Thursday night, Nov. 17. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

THEATRE

PHOTOS: At Surrey church, ‘A Late Snow’ tells a stormy story of five gay women trapped in cabin

Pivot Theatre production stars Taylor Stutchbury as a college professor looking for true love

Played out at a Surrey church is the funny, bittersweet story of five gay women trapped in a cabin during a snowstorm.

Produced by Pivot Theatre, “A Late Snow” opened a week-long, seven-show run at Bethany-Newton United Church on Thursday night (Nov. 17).

Jane Chamber’s script is a good fit for the year-old community theatre company, which aims to provide “a safer space for its artists, no matter their background, race, gender, orientation, or ability.”

• READ MORE: Surrey’s new Pivot Theatre launches with ‘My Blue Heaven’ play and ‘a safer place to create’ plan.

Set in the 1970s, “A Late Snow” follows lesbian college professor Ellie (Taylor Stutchbury), who must deal with her past, present and future lovers, including alcoholic antiques dealer Pat (Nicki Regnier), adoring young Quincey (Rachel Gadd), famous writer Margo (Amy Starkey) and old college pal “Perfect” Peggy (Jennifer Tiles).

While snow falls, sparks fly as Ellie searches to hear the elusive “wind chimes” of true love – but with who among the oddball mix of cabin guests?

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Actors Nicki Regnier, left, and Rachel Gadd in Pivot Theatre’s “A Late Snow.” (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Actors Nicki Regnier, left, and Rachel Gadd in Pivot Theatre’s “A Late Snow.” (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Actors Amy Starkey, left, and Taylor Stutchbury in Pivot Theatre’s “A Late Snow.” (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Actors Amy Starkey, left, and Taylor Stutchbury in Pivot Theatre’s “A Late Snow.” (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Taylor Stutchbury, left, gives fellow actor Jennifer Tiles a twirl during the curtain call of Pivot Theatre’s “A Late Snow” on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, at Bethany-Newton United Church in Surrey. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Taylor Stutchbury, left, gives fellow actor Jennifer Tiles a twirl during the curtain call of Pivot Theatre’s “A Late Snow” on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, at Bethany-Newton United Church in Surrey. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

The play’s story riffs on second chances in life, and entertains with some snappy dialogue, poignant moments of liberation and lively performances by the cast of five.

The church venue is a recent find for Pivot. Conference-style chairs are positioned in a few rows, and stage lights have been brought in for the production. There is no curtain, and only the bedroom scenes are performed on a proper stage. It was chilly in there on opening night, and the church’s high vaulted ceiling probably doesn’t help with that.

For one performance, on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m., understudies Abigail Walkner (as Margo) and Kelly Zhou (Quincey) will hit the boards. The matinee is a “relaxed” performance, which means lighting and sound will be adjusted for those with sensory difficulties, and patrons are free to exit and enter the theatre whenever needed.

Directed by Cathie Young, “A Late Snow” runs to Nov. 26 at Bethany-Newton United Church (14853 60 Ave., Surrey). Tickets can be purchased on pivottheatre.ca and at the door.

During the run of the show, Pivot Theatre welcomes donations of winter items (coats, hats, gloves, etc.), for donation to FRAFCA (Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association).

This week, Pivot is holding auditions at the church for Margaret Shearman’s new play “Confetti,” for a run of shows in February. Directed by Hayden Clewes, the play offers a story of Audrey, a senior citizen who has voluntarily checked into The Haven seniors residence to avoid money-grubbing family members. When they find her, Audrey leans a little too heavily on her grandchild, leading to conflict and the surfacing of true feelings. Check the company’s website for audition details. It’s a non-equity, non-paid volunteer production.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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