Three Langley artists have put their mark on a new play launched in Abbotsford this past weekend.
Actors Cassie Unger and Curtis Maciborski are among the cast of Gallery 7 Theatre’s production of Last Train to Nibroc, directed by fellow Langleyite Nicola Shannon.
The curtain went up Friday, Nov. 12 on the first live and in-person show offered by the theatre group in 18 months – due to COVID.
The show is still running Nov. 16 to 20 at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 20 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre. Tickets available at www.gallerytheatre.com or at 604-504-5940.
“Gallery 7 Theatre is thrilled to be returning to in-person live theatre after a 18 month hiatus with Arlene Hutton’s heartwarming and romantic drama, Last Train to Nibroc,” said artistic director Ken Hildebrandt.
“We’re really very excited to return to in-person live theatre after such a challenging time for our community,” he added.
“We’ve programmed a season of theatre we trust will bring light, hope and healing to our community, and Last Train to Nibroc, which we’ve been wanting to produce for quite some time, fits perfectly into that vision.”
Set in 1940, May and Raleigh meet on an eastbound train that just so happens to be carrying the bodies of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Nathaneal West.
They soon discover that Raleigh is unable to enlist in the Army due to a medical condition and is on his way to New York to become a writer. May desires to be a missionary. As they chat, they realize they have something in common: they are both from Kentucky.
This girl-meets-boy romance follows the couple over time, painting an often funny, always touching portrait of two young people navigating through a time of war as they search for happiness and what their hearts truly desire.
‘This is a play about two people who meet entirely by chance and are both smitten and challenged by the other, even if they aren’t willing to admit it to themselves or the other,” explained Hildebrandt.
“Over time, they are faced with how to communicate with one another as they both search for hope and happiness in a dark time. I really hope the play makes people smile as much as it has me.”
Shannon is directing. She previously directed a production of Pride and Prejudice and an online dramatic reading of Macbeth for the theatre.
About the play, she said: “Two young people find each other as their lives are turned upside down. For us as a creative team, we too are emerging out of a dark time and are finding reasons in the middle of it all to laugh and celebrate and find a fresh start with this play.”
Playing the reserved, sometimes prickly but always caring character of May is veteran Langley performer. Unger last performed at Gallery 7 Theatre as Myra Bennet in Tempting Providence.
Playing the role of the bookish, always laughing yet sincere Raleigh is Curtis fellow Langleyite Maciborski. This is Mackiborski’s second production with Gallery 7 Theatre, the last being A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Assisting Shannon in bringing the show to life on stage is: set designer Jeff Kiers, costume designer Dani DeJong, props designer Dianna Lewis, sound designer Josh Osborne, hair and make-up designer Charlene Crawford, and Hildebrandt as the lighting designer.
The stage manager is Brittany Suderman and the production photographer is Dianna Lewis Photography.
Tickets range from $12 to $30, plus service fees, and patrons can select their seats for in-person performances when they order. For more information, to book tickets or to review Gallery 7 Theatre’s Health and Wellness plan, please visit www.gallery7theatre.com or call 604-504-5940.
“Audiences are really in for a treat,” concluded Hildebrandt. “This show offers a gentle reprieve from regular life while providing healthy nourishment for the heart, soul and mind.”
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