For anyone who has ever wished to take a trip back in time, an opportunity to experience four different eras of the Fort Langley CN Station’s past comes to town this Saturday.
The Langley Heritage Society (LHS) has partnered with another local arts organization, Creative Compass (CCS), to showcase local history through a series of scripted vignettes.
The Wheels of Time, written by LHS member Mark Forsythe, is set in a multitude of different years to highlight Fort Langley’s vast changes, including 1910, 1928, 1948, and 1968.
Brigitte Seib, director of CCS, said a great response to an open casting call held just over a month ago has lead to a unique showcase of Langley acting talent.
“We got a lot of community theatre actors and a few newcomers, including a mother and son who decided to do this together,” Seib explained. “There are four vignettes, all with the same cast who will be pulling off a lot of costume changes.”
Every Saturday, starting with Aug 31 this Labor Day weekend and running until the Cranberry Festival, Oct. 12., the re-enactments will be performed four times between 12 and 4 p.m.
Seib said each one should begin on the hour and runs for about 15-20 minutes. The stage? The actual platform outside the Fort Langley CN Station at 23238 Mavis Ave.
“One of the challenges is when the train comes by,” Seid added. “You can’t hear anything. We hope to be like an old fashioned silent movie and hold up signs that say ‘please wait’ while it passes.”
Another challenge for the team performing outdoors is the unpredictable weather. “We’re doing a sun dance to chase the rain away,” she said with a laugh.
Part of the struggle – and the fun – for the team involved was researching Fort Langley history for authenticity while seeking out props to use in the show like old news prints.
“The idea is to raise awareness of our history,” Seib said, “like the moving of a commercial hotel. The track was being built where this old hotel was located in Fort Langley; Billy Brown, who the road is named after, said ‘whoever can move it in 24 hours will get a case of whiskey’.”
CCS is also hosting open mic sessions on the last Sunday of September for B.C. Cultural Days. They have also put out a call for local filmmakers to write, shoot, and edit a five minute film over a 48 hour time frame between Sept. 27 and 29.
The vignettes are free and suitable for all ages; music from LHS member Tom Hammel will also round out the showcase as well.
Seib said the whole process was very quick and this is only a start – both her and the heritage society hope to bring more Fort Langley history to life in the future.
For more information, people are encouraged to visit CCS’s Facebook page.
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