Maple Ridge Boy Portrays Shrek in Upcoming Musical Production – Maple Ridge News

The Professional Live Arts for Youth (PLAY) Society will now be opening its doors to the public for now since its launch in 2014 with a show that includes local talent.

Young people performing through the non-profit theater society will stage a musical, Shrek the Comedian Jr. – the story of an ogre named Shrek who embarks on a quest to save a princess from a dragon. However, it turns out that to ultimately succeed, Shrek must overcome an even bigger hurdle: learning to believe in himself and open his heart to others.

“Shrek’s unique story of discovery encourages each of us to examine our biases, re-examine what we believe to be our limitations, and work to better understand ourselves and others,” said Brad Tones, Founder and Executive Director. by PLAY Society.

The iconic character Shrek will take the stage alongside Princess Fiona, antagonist Lord Farquaad, Donkey, Pinocchio, Peter Pan and many other fairy tale characters. The cast is made up of 18 students, eight of whom are from Langley. Tones shared that a total of 17 people worked behind the scenes to bring the play to the stage.

Shrek the Musical Jr. is an opportunity for all young people, regardless of background, to have the chance to perform on a professional stage in front of the public,” said Tones, who lives in Maple Ridge.

Play director Fiorella Artoni shared that the show reflects inclusivity and encourages people to be proud of where they come from.

“I’m beyond grateful to have had the chance to direct this funky musical,” Artoni said. “It was a magical experience that brought my vision to life with the help of my amazing students. We can’t wait to see you wave your monster flag with us in PLAY Company’s production of Shrek Jr.

The Langley-based company was established eight years ago, and although the young actor has presented several times in the past, the shows were not open to the public but limited to friends and family of the performers. Tones shared that his team spent six years training the kids and preparing them to put on a professional musical show.

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“This show is the culmination of the last six years of building our reputation,” he said.

All the teenagers who will be on stage are enrolled in different high schools, but spend their weekends and summer vacations learning acting.

Nic Lam, a Maple Ridge resident who plays Shrek, is a big fan of musicals. He recently traveled to New York to attend a Shrek theater and later told Tones he had always wanted to play the role.

“This show is amazing. It was great making friends and laughing and growing up, it was awesome,” Lam said.

After Shrek the Musical, Liam will join his high school drama team as he stars in the show, Little Shop of Horrors.

Tones, a local high school graduate, is also the show’s producer.

He founded the company after his idea of ​​providing affordable arts education programs to youth across British Columbia was appreciated by Debra Hinksman with a $250,000 fund. Hinksman funded the project through the Barbara Howard Student Arts Fund and gifted Tones with the money she received after selling her church in New Westminster.

The fund was named after one of the last members of the church, Barbara Howard, who was also the first person of color to compete for Team Canada on an international track and field stage. In 1938, at age 17, she sprinted 100 meters in 11 seconds. Howard was also the first from minority communities hired by the Vancouver School District.

“She’s one of the coolest women I’ve ever met,” Tones commented on Howard.

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Funding applications were open to people around the world, but Tones’ response to “what would you do to change the world for children” captured Hinksman’s heart. Along with Jessica Nelson, Tones pioneered the idea of ​​allowing children to explore theater, regardless of their financial situation.

Soon after, the PLAY Society was formed to offer acting classes for $5 an hour. There is also a bursary program to help defray this cost for families in need.

Money from the fund covered Tones and his team for the first three years. Currently, the company receives grants from several programs like the BC Gaming Grant and many more. Tones started teaching children in 2002, and he said he “absolutely loves” his job.

“Making theater fun is something I’m passionate about,” he said.

Tones served on the board of the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Arts Council and the ACT Arts Center for six years. He lives in Maple Ridge with his wife, Amber, and three children.

Shrek, the junior comedian., is the company’s first “big” professional production.

PLAY offers classes year-round, but Tones shared that summer is a “big time” because the company has held camps and classes.

The company will present Shrek the Musical Jr. March 17, 18, and 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Chief Sepass Theater at 9096 Trattle St., Fort Langley. All tickets are $20 and can be purchased at playsociety.ca.

For more information, people can email [email protected] or call 604-768-6597.

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Youth with Langley’s PLAY Society will present Shrek the Musical Jr. on March 17, 18 and 19 at the Chief Sepass Theater in Fort Langley. They wore masks and followed COVID-related guidelines during rehearsals. (Special for Langley Advance Times)

Les jeunes de la société PLAY de Langley présenteront <em>Shrek the Musical</em><em>Jr.</em>.  March 17, 18 and 19 at the Chief Sepass Theater in Fort Langley.  They wore masks and followed COVID-related guidelines during rehearsals.  (Special for Langley Advance Times)” loading=”lazy” srcset=”https://1wn3pg4fh5uh2dktoa28c8c9-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/28269147_web1_220222-LAT-TA-ShrekTheatre_3.jpg 1200w , https://1wn3pg4fh5uh2dktoa28c8c9-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/28269147_web1_220222-LAT-TA-ShrekTheatre_3-300×200.jpg 300w, https://1wn3pg4fh5uh8pengin.netdna-ssl8dktoa2dktoa2 com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/28269147_web1_220222-LAT-TA-ShrekTheatre_3-1024×683.jpg 1024w, https://1wn3pg4fh5uh2dktoa28c8c9-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/20282/092 https://1wn3pg4fh5uh2dktoa28c8c9-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/28269147_web1_220222-LAT-TA-ShrekTheatre_3-640×512.jpg =”(max-width: 320px) 93vw, (max-width: 639px) 97vw, (max-width: 1023px) 63vw, 640px”/></a></p>
<p>Youth with Langley’s PLAY Society will present Shrek the Musical Jr. on March 17, 18 and 19 at the Chief Sepass Theater in Fort Langley.  They wore masks and followed COVID-related guidelines during rehearsals.  (Special for Langley Advance Times)</p>
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