Langley’s Mikayla Wust (right) is among the cast preparing to open SMASH at TWU on Oct. 25.

Politics and love collide on TWU theatre stage in Langley

Students start the season off on a light and humorous note with a British comedy called Smash.

Langley’s Mikayla Wust plays the “hawk-eyed” headmistress in Trinity Western University’s (TWU’s) upcoming production of Smash.

“I am a headmistress of a girls’ college. When it comes to steely eyed executioners, I eat Frenchmen for lunch,” Wust said, running her lines during rehearsal and nailing one of her character’s humorous lines.

TWU kicks off its new theatre season with big laughs and colourful costumes in this Jeff Hatcher play – a high-style British comedy fittingly set on a college campus.

Buckle up for a witty faceoff between socialism and capitalism, mixed with some battle-of-the-sexes fun, said director Lloyd Arnett.

Romance and politics collide when the main character, a charming though slightly misguided socialist, abandons his bride for a grand scheme to overthrow the British government.

When he sneaks into a ladies’ college – hoping to convert socially influential allies – his clumsy antics throw the campus into a tizzy.

Before long, he’s dodging the headmistress (Wust), saucy dames on rollerskates, and a starry-eyed rebel hopelessly in love with him.

“Whether you’re an enthusiast of politics and history, or you just love a good laugh, this play is a crowd-pleaser,” said Arnett, a theatre professor at TWU.

“Like the best of satires, it’s full of ridiculous characters who take themselves quite seriously,” he added.

Hatcher’s script, critically acclaimed for its smart writing and social commentary, is adapted from The Unsocial Socialist by theatre legend George Bernard Shaw.

The play stars Corben Dunn, James Faley, Amanda Haggett, Paul Kobilke, Lucas Morehouse, Madeleine Osborne, Steven Simpson, Rachel Van Vliet, Mikayla Wust, and Joelle Wyminga.

Costumes are designed by Kaitlin Williams, the set by Heipo Leung, and lighting by Sophie Tang.

BackStage West called it “a sparkling evening of Shaw…with loads of clever wordplay and impassioned debate about the structure of society and the preferred form of change.”

SMASH runs Oct. 25 to Nov. 5, at TWU’s School of the Arts, Media + Culture (SAMC), Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m.

People can book tickets at www.twu.ca/theatre or call 604-513-2188.

Arnett and the cast will also be hosting a special event for high school students after the Nov. 2 performance. The night includes pizza, admission, and a post-show talkback for only $10. For information, email theatre@twu.ca.

Next up

The next TWU production runs later in November.

disPLACE: Refugee Stories in Their Own Words, is a world premiere created by theatre artists at TWU.

The show weaves together real-life experiences of refugees from a variety of cultures.

Follow this theatrical journey to the heart of one of today’s most pressing social issues, onstage Nov. 22 to Dec. 3.

Curious audience members interested in discussing the play can stay for an informative talkback following each performance.

The Nov. 30 performance also includes an educational event for high school students, parents, and teachers.

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