She was last seen in Middle Earth.
Now, Evangeline Lilly is set to make an appearance here in Langley.
This Thursday, Lilly, who most recently starred in The Hobbit trilogy, will be at Langley Fine Arts School’s Chief Sepass Theatre.
The Canadian actor, turned children’s author, is the first of two guests invited to participate this month in the school’s Arts Matter series.
Lilly, who rose to fame 11 years ago as Kate Austen in the hit television series Lost, before being cast in a number of high-profile films, including The Hurt Locker and the upcoming Ant Man, is now working on a series of books aimed at young audiences.
Her first children’s book — The Squickerwonkers — was published late last year.
Described by one review as being “at the dark end of the spectrum” of children’s books, alongside the likes of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, The Squickerwonkers tells the story of a spoiled young girl named Selma who encounters a troupe of colourful marionettes and soon learns that she will not always get her way.
On Thursday afternoon, Lilly will spend time with LFAS students, talking about her craft and participating in workshops.
During the evening session inside the Fort Langley school’s theatre the public is invited to listen as Lilly reads her book aloud.
She will also discuss her career in the arts, take questions from the audience and sign copies of The Squickerwonkers, which will be available for purchase at the event.
Booking Lilly for the series was “just fluke,” said Chief Sepass Theatre manager Kevin Statham, a member of the Arts Matter committee at LFAS.
“It just all fell together. She happened to be in town this week.”
The actor/author had been trying to find time in her busy schedule to do something like this, he added.
In anticipation of her arrival, students have been busy for the past several weeks preparing work based on Lilly’s book — including a dramatic piece and a video — which will be presented that evening, he explained.
“My original idea was, maybe the school could bring her book to life,” Statham said.
With such a short lead time, that was too ambitious a plan, he said. But he expects audiences will enjoy both the students’ and Lilly’s presentations, just the same.
“She does quite the performance when she reads,” he chuckled.
Two weeks later, on Jan. 29, the school will welcome Smithers musician Alex Cuba for the second and final session of Arts Matter for the school year.
“Alex loved the concept of coming to the school,” said Statham, who contacted the musician through Facebook to issue the invitation.
Cuba’s music is described as being influenced by Latin and African rhythms, mixed with funk, jazz and pop.
The Juno and Latin Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter will be backed up by an orchestra of senior LFAS students as well as a student jazz ensemble when he performs for the public at the evening session.
Since it began four years ago, the Arts Matter series has included as many as four guest artists in one season.
Because of last summer’s job action, planning for the series began later than it should have, explained Statham.
“Committee members have been busy,” he said. “Most of the planning was supposed to happen in June.”
That is why this year’s series is limited to two guests. The performances fall two weeks apart, he said, because of Lilly’s and Cuba’s availability.
Despite the compressed timeline, Statham said he believed it was important to host at least one Arts Matter session during the year, if only for the sake of ensuring the series didn’t fall by the wayside.
Chief Sepass Theatre is located at 9096 Trattle St. in Fort Langley. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show begins at 7 p.m. Admission to the Arts Matter presentations is $20 adult and $15 student. They can be purchased at the door or online at: northerntickets.com/events/arts-matter-
evangeline-lilly/ and northerntickets.com/events/arts-matter-alex-cuba/