SAMC at TWU presents Bride On Credit, Jan. 31-Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday
Venue: TWU, 7600 Glover Rd.
Tickets: twu.ca/theatre or visit email@example.com
What if your credit card fell into the wrong hands? What if, instead of taking it on a wild spending spree, the thief bought a mail-order bride and she showed up at your house? The hapless Dan Foster is about to find out what “unlucky in love” means in Bride on Credit, a new romantic comedy that runs Jan. 31 to Feb. 4 at Trinity Western University.
Dan has a great career and no love life. If he could just work up the courage to tell his best friend he loves her, things might be different. But then his credit card is stolen on a blind date gone wrong, and suddenly a mail-order bride shows up on his doorstep thinking he was the one who ordered her.
It’s hard enough explaining things to a starry-eyed “bride” who speaks no English; but matters are complicated by his sister (the pill-popping actress) and his pal Tony (the wisecracking ladykiller). Unless, of course, this shy girl from abroad is actually the soulmate he’s been waiting for.
The comedy, written by Cara Lowdermilk, is the second play from the fifth year TWU student to be staged at the university, following an earlier production of August in the Spring.
Bride on Credit was commissioned by the university, but the story sprang from the playwright’s own life experiences. Well, sort of.
“My debit card was compromised four times in a month,” Lowdermilk said. Even though she never lost any money as a result, the experience got her thinking.
“I always wondered, what would be the worst that could have happened?”
Coming up with an idea is the easiest part of the playwriting process for the 23-year-old.
The challenge she said is figuring out what happens next to move the story along, while coming up with interesting and dynamic characters.
“There are stories people have told me where I’ve thought, ‘That’s funny, but it would have been better if this had happened.”
When Lowdermilk transferred to TWU from the University of Victoria her plan was to become a director.
But thanks to the move, her course schedule was a mess and she was encouraged to take a playwriting class.
She quickly fell in love with the experience of bringing characters to life on the page and then watching them take form on the stage.
“Being able to see something you’ve created, and watching an actor take (a script) and (interpret) it . . . it’s the one thing in theatre that’s all yours.”
Lowdermilk began working on the script during her summer vacation and sending drafts to her instructor, SAMC Theatre Chair Angela Konrad.
In her notes, the teacher observed that the character Louise is very similar to Lowdermilk and asked whether the young scribe had any desire to play the role.
After a bit of convincing, the writer agreed to play the part.
“We’re delighted to premiere this exciting new work,” said Konrad, who pulled together an ensemble of senior students to collaboratively design and produce the show, including Shayna Lorraine Jones who tore up the stage as Friar Laurence in last semester’s Romeo + Juliet.
“Dan is a lovable geek, and as his best friend it’s my job to tell him when he’s being an idiot … but also support him through the love disaster of his life,” says Shayna, who recently accepted a position with the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance while finishing up the last of her Theatre courses.
“I love the play. I’m so proud of Cara, the queen of comedy. It’s been a treat coming together with this team to conceptualize and build every aspect of the production from the ground up.”
Shayna stars alongside Lyndon Johnson as Dan and Sarah Ruth as “bride on credit” Georgette, with Shayne Findlay, Karyn Guenther, and Lowdermilk. Stage managed by Eleanor Felton, Ian Hengeveld, and Jessica Van Elk.