Hannah Everett and Tyler Boe (of Pitt Meadows) star in Theatre in the Country’s upcoming production of Salt-Water Moon. (Reg Parks/Special to The News)

After months away, Langley’s theatre group back on stage before live audience

Theatre in the Country produces Salt-Water Moon this week

After being livestreamed ahead of Valentine’s, Langley’s Theatre in the Country (TIC) is bringing back David French’s Canadian classic, Salt-Water Moon, this time to the stage.

This production tells the heartbreaking but hopeful story of young lovers, Jacob Mercer (played by Tyler Boe) and Mary Snow (played by Hannah Everett), who have one night to decide their futures and see if they can learn to trust each other again.

This play was livestreamed from the TIC stage in Langley back in February, but with restrictions lifting and very little live theatre yet to hit the boards, Park thought they should put it up in front of a live audience “where it belongs,” said artistic director Reg Park.

It has been 17 months since either of them has stepped on a stage with a crowd in the seats, added Park. “It is exciting, nerve wracking, and long overdue as far as they are concerned.”

 TIC has been waiting anxiously for the moment when they could present live theatre to a larger audience, and they anticipate a sizable crowd for this show – the first live production in nine months, Park said.

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With very few theatres up and running yet, he hopes people will be anxious to get back into the air-conditioned theatre and enjoy a shared entertainment experience, Park said. 

The show features the two up-and-coming performers who are both pursuing careers in theatre and film. And Boe and Everett are relishing the idea of mounting the show in front of a live audience this week.

Boe, a 20-year-old Pitt Meadows resident born and raised, echoes the level of excitement about being back on stage before a live audience, acknowledging that “the worst part of doing Salt-Water Moon the first time, on livestream, was the lack of audience, nothing to go off of, no reactions to feed on.”

Boe is no stranger to the stage. He’s started with TIC six years ago working on sets and setting up the theatre – and, of course, acting.

But his days in theatre actually go back much further than that, his mother, Shelley, signing him up for Xtreme Theatre in Maple Ridge back when he was six and played the role of a bowl in their production of Beauty and the Beast.

He continued doing theatre with Xtreme for about seven years, playing roles like the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland and Charlie in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

“As I got older I started to enjoy theatre, and particularly musical theatre, more and more I got involved with many community theatre groups, SPECCtacular Productions, Emerald Pig, Bard on the Bandstand, Align Entertainment, and of course, most prominently Theatre in the Country,” recounted Boe.

“My whole family is very theatrically oriented,” noting he’d do shows with one or both of his older brothers. And the family connection didn’t end there. Mom was usually toiling behind the scenes on costumes.

“Up until COVID, he also took acting, singing, and dance training with Lindbjerg Academy for three years, participating in yearly youth musical production with roles like, Usnavi in In the Heights and Captain Smith in Titanic – the Musical.

“I have done no formal post-secondary training for acting or performing, mostly drawing on a large amount of experience having been in 25 different shows over the past 14 years, sometimes rehearsing for as many as three different productions at once,” he recounted.

Speaking of rehearsing, he explained how rehearsals for Salt-Water Moon began back in January. They only had one month before putting on the livestreamed version, shared the now part-time actor and part-time welder and fabricator.

Heading into this production, he admitted he had never heard of Salt-Water Moon – reading the script for the first time before auditioning.

“Though my main focus has always been musical theatre, Salt-Water has been just as amazing of an experience if not more so! With an amazing acting partner, director, and production team behind the scenes, this has been one of my favourite acting experiences to date, even with the ups and down of COVID,” he shared with The News.

When they started rehearsals, he made the decision to merge his and Hannah’s social bubble “so as to be able to put on the show as real as possible. Now, four months later, we get the exciting news from Reg that we are going to be able to remount the show for a live audience. And now with two weeks of rehearsal to get back into it, we are itching to get in front of that audience.”

Salt-Water Moon will play from July 15 to 24 for seven shows. Livestream tickets are also available for those unready or unable to attend. Tickets can be purchased at theatreinthecountry.com or call 604-259-9737.

“This show will take you on a ride through one warm summer’s night in Newfoundland with Jacob and Mary, Jolly Songs, the telling of dramatic tales, and moments of heart-breaking silence,” said Boe, encouraging theatre lovers to check it out.

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