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Surrey’s Pivot Theatre wins awards for ‘My Blue Heaven’ comedy, now set to play Vernon

Theatre company’s second annual yard sale July 9 at Newton Cultural Centre
Pivot Theatre members at the Fraser Valley Zone Festival where awards were won for Best New Theatre Company, Best Costume Design (Margaret Shearman) and Best Sound Design (Kevin Ibbotson). (Photo: Facebook)

Newton-based Pivot Theatre “is really picking up steam,” according to organizers of the fledgling theatre company.

A June newsletter outlines a number of diverse events and activities, including a few awards earned during the Fraser Valley Zone Festival hosted by Theatre B.C. in mid-May.

Staged in March at Newton Cultural Centre, the company’s first production, “My Blue Heaven,” won awards at the festival for Best Costumes and Best Sound Design, and Pivot was recognized as Best New Theatre Company.

“Our momentum and positive response there encouraged our team to submit the play for the wildcard slot at the Mainstage Festival in Vernon, and we have been invited to perform the show on July 15,” reported Margaret Shearman, Pivot founder and artistic director. “If you’re in the area, come out and support our show!”

The Kayt Roth-directed show stars three actors — Kevin Ibbotson, Leaminn Ma and Beck Marie — in Jane Chambers’ couple-focused comedy, set in 1975.

Pivot has become a post-pandemic project for a core group of close to 15 people, after the company’s launch plans were delayed by COVID.

The company welcomes all to join, including those who are LGBTQ, BIPOC, two-spirited, white, cisgendered and differently-abled, to create theatre performances and other visual and performance art.

On June 25, Pivot was a vendor at Surrey Pride Festival.

Set for Saturday, July 9, rain or shine, is the theatre company’s second annual yard sale at the Newton Cultural Centre (13530 72 Ave.), from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “We are looking for volunteers for setting up, taking down, and everything in between, and also accepting donations to sell,” notes a newsletter item. “Our crew has a lot of fun, and the yard sale is Pivot’s most important fundraiser. If you’re unable to volunteer, please come join us anyway, and bring your friends, family, and spare change.”

Other events on Pivot’s calendar this summer include an audition workshop led by Kevin Ibbotson, and a drag show in August. “If you would like to perform, know of a restaurant in the Newton area interested in hosting, or if you would like to volunteer behind the scenes, please email us at,” the newsletter says.

Pivot’s first ever AGM is Aug. 13, to include a meet-and-greet and barbeque at a location to be announced.

Also this summer, auditions for Pivot’s mid-November show, “A Late Snow” by Jane Chambers, will be planned. To get involved, email Shearman at

Back in March, Pivot Theatre was launched to create “a safer place to create” in Newton, to make up for what Shearman called a lack of places in the city where people “can express themselves and learn new things and just bond with people and be yourself.”

“We aim to be a supportive place,” Shearman said at the time. “We feel that’s missing in Surrey, especially since Surrey Little Theatre folded. I think Surrey is big enough for probably five community theatres, and they wouldn’t even overlap – Surrey is huge. That’s the nice thing about theatre because it’s a place for people to go be themselves, no matter who they are. We need brains and quirkiness and talent and ideas, because it’s a creative place, right. It doesn’t matter about gender, orientation, economic status, none of that.”

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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