SURREY — Sophie Elder-Labrie is 20, which is beyond the age of those who typically work on Some Assembly Theatre Company productions.
For the company’s current Home show, however, director and “script weaver” Valerie Methot wanted the Surrey resident to be involved.
Elder-Labrie plays Lorelai, a diner manager, in the play, to be staged from Wednesday to Saturday (May 3 to 6) at Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in Vancouver.
The show is a project of Roundhouse Youth Theatre Action Group, or RHYTAG, now in its 16th year of creating “original, collaborative plays that promote awareness, wellness and dialogue about issues facing teens.”
While Elder-Labrie is no longer a teenager, Methot said she plays a crucial role in the 70-minute production.
“Sophie and also Brogan Ho (a Burnaby resident, also 20), they’re such natural, positive role models that I invited them back to be part of this ensemble,” Methot said, “because I see the true merit in having these conversations between 13-year-olds and 20-year-olds, and it’s incredible how they can learn from one another.”
In Home, a dozen cast members tell the story of a favourite local hangout threatened with a corporate takeover. Set to original music, the play follows two First Nations female managers as they rally the diner regulars to save the place they call “home.”
Elder-Labrie has been involved in RHYTAG projects for the past half-dozen years, meaning frequent commutes to Vancouver from her Gateway-area home in Surrey.
“She brings six years of experience being in the project and working with our company, which is extremely valuable,” Methot raved about Elder-Labrie. “It’s very inspiring to witness how she’s grown as a human being, as an artist. She’s an incredibly talented young woman, (and) when I first met her at age 14, I had no idea that she would become this amazing singer, songwriter, musician, actor, writer and designer — it blows my mind, actually.”
In recent years, Elder-Labrie attended the Sarah McLachlan School of Music before she focused on film and television acting at the Vancouver Academy of Dramatic Arts. Looking ahead, she’d like to pursue acting and music as a career, naturally, and she’d also like to remain involved in Some Assembly theatre projects – for the next four years, at least.
“It’s special for me to be part of (Home), because it’s kind of a celebration of the past six years of my involvement, all the work that I’ve done, and how it’s transformed and turned into something different,” she said.
The Home cast also features Laurel Trueman, who is 15 and also lives in Surrey, along with Latisha Wadhams, Christopher Rahim, Nicholas Roe, Parker Phelan, Joe Baker, Una Spasovski, Elodie Doumenc, Haley Christenson and Sian Kilpatrick.