Langley university theatre team to bring stories from Second World War

The cast of Bright Star include young artists from Langley and other neighbouring cities. Their team is comprised of faculty from both the music and theatre departments at TWU’s School of the Arts, Media and Culture. The new show is a musical based on true events and is set in the World War II era. (Jef Gibbons/Trinity Western University/Langley Advance Times)The cast of Bright Star include young artists from Langley and other neighbouring cities. Their team is comprised of faculty from both the music and theatre departments at TWU’s School of the Arts, Media and Culture. The new show is a musical based on true events and is set in the World War II era. (Jef Gibbons/Trinity Western University/Langley Advance Times)
The cast of Bright Star include young artists from Langley and other neighbouring cities. Their team is comprised of faculty from both the music and theatre departments at TWU’s School of the Arts, Media and Culture. The new show is a musical based on true events and is set in the World War II era. (Jef Gibbons/Trinity Western University/Langley Advance Times)The cast of Bright Star include young artists from Langley and other neighbouring cities. Their team is comprised of faculty from both the music and theatre departments at TWU’s School of the Arts, Media and Culture. The new show is a musical based on true events and is set in the World War II era. (Jef Gibbons/Trinity Western University/Langley Advance Times)
The cast of Bright Star include young artists from Langley and other neighbouring cities. Their team is comprised of faculty from both the music and theatre departments at TWU’s School of the Arts, Media and Culture. The new show is a musical based on true events and is set in the World War II era. (Jef Gibbons/Trinity Western University/Langley Advance Times)The cast of Bright Star include young artists from Langley and other neighbouring cities. Their team is comprised of faculty from both the music and theatre departments at TWU’s School of the Arts, Media and Culture. The new show is a musical based on true events and is set in the World War II era. (Jef Gibbons/Trinity Western University/Langley Advance Times)
The cast of Bright Star include young artists from Langley and other neighbouring cities. Their team is comprised of faculty from both the music and theatre departments at TWU’s School of the Arts, Media and Culture. The new show is a musical based on true events and is set in the World War II era. (Jef Gibbons/Trinity Western University/Langley Advance Times)The cast of Bright Star include young artists from Langley and other neighbouring cities. Their team is comprised of faculty from both the music and theatre departments at TWU’s School of the Arts, Media and Culture. The new show is a musical based on true events and is set in the World War II era. (Jef Gibbons/Trinity Western University/Langley Advance Times)

The bluegrass musical inspired by true events and created by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell is set to take place at a Langley university.

To be performed by students of Trinity Western University’s (TWU) theatre department, the Bright Star musical is expected to take audiences to the Second World War era.

The theatre follows the journey of a literary editor Alice Murphy, who in the aftermath of the war meets an aspiring young writer. Just home from the battlefield, his determined spirit ignites a spark of recognition in Alice, and she sets out on a journey to understand her past.

Set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Bright Star will “get the audiences’ toes tapping and heart soaring,” said Angela Konrad, professor and co-chair of theatre department.

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Kate Muchmore Woo, director and co-chair of theatre, said that the play is a love story for the ages.

“The journey of the characters is joyful, tragic, and ultimately deeply satisfying. With gorgeous, gut-wrenching songs and rousing banjo and fiddle music, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser,” Woo added.

Bright Star’s team is comprised of faculty from both the music and theatre departments at TWU’s School of the Arts, Media and Culture.

With 17 actors and eight musicians, as well as many others behind the scenes, Bright Star will depict scenes from the 1920s through the 1940s.

“The music is absolutely wonderful – full-bodied, accessible, and really perfect for this group of performers,” said Dr. Joel Tranquilla. As a vocal coach for the students, he affirmed that the melodies will be “refreshing to hear.”

Dr. Allan Thorpe, the musical director, added that the bluegrass style of the music has a friendly charm that welcomes people into the world of the play.

“It is a pleasure to support these talented young artists who bring to life what was once just words and dots on a page,” Thorpe added.

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Costume designer Kerri Norris and choreographer Lalainia Lindjberg Strelau played a key role in “evoking two different eras with flare, fashion, and fun,” explained Woo.

“This is a story of resiliency in the face of loss, something we are all far too familiar with,” Woo said. “Like the characters, we have lost sight of what life used to be like and some days we don’t know how we will make it through. But Bright Star shows us that miracles can happen, and new dreams and hopes are just around the corner.”

The theatre department recently started resumption of public performances as the restrictions were lifted, and Woo said that the show is a “great” opportunity for people to come together and celebrate.

Bright Star will take place on the Langley campus of TWU, Tuesdays, Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays from March 15 to April 2. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. The Saturday matinees on March 26 and April 2 start at 2 p.m. There are no performances on Thursdays. To purchase tickets and for more information, people can visit www.twu.ca/theatre.

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