The next generation of music theatre talent is bringing new perspective to the Fraser Valley Gilbert and Sullivan Society.
The musical theatre company is in final preparations for its newest offering of Seussical, a Broadway musical based on the classic stories of Dr. Seuss. A talented cast and production team includes several from Delta
Heading up the production team is 30-year-old director Brad Dewar, with 24-year-old choreographer Tamara Jaune, 25-year-old assistant choreographer Elisabeth “Bizzy” Lay from Delta, 24-year-old producer Chantelle Dewar, 30-year-old stage manager Samantha Andrews and veteran music director Tim Tucker.
Other Deltans in the production include Lyn Verra-Lay, who is Dewar’s mentor, and actress Melanie Mercer.
While bringing in young, talented artists keeps the society’s shows fresh and exciting, there is no denying the importance of family within the company.
Mother and daughter duo Lyn Verra-Lay and Elisabeth “Bizzy” Lay have been with the theatre company for many years, with Bizzy Lay veritably growing up within the society.
As mentor to the producer and de facto show mom, Verra-Lay gets to work alongside her daughter, helping to mold the next generation of performers and crew members.
“I was six months pregnant with Bizzy when I was on stage in a G&S operetta, so the journey of seeing her go from performing to being a part of the production team is a very happy circle to me,” said Verra-Lay. “I was only a year older than she is now when I started with the FVGSS. I believe it’s a natural progression for the organization to regularly incorporate young, emerging talent into the producing of our shows.”
A long-time member of the society, Verra-Lay has been both onstage and behind it, taking on various roles throughout the years. Still, she stresses the importance of seeing the next generation begin to take on more responsibility in the theatre.
“I love that being in a show is where people choose to spend their time, and the more new members we have, the more variety of talent we can share,” she said. “In presenting musical theatre productions, we need talent and experience of all ages to be able to grow and enjoy our successes.”
Seussical is a clever re-telling of many fan-favourite Dr. Seuss tales, and follows Horton the Elephant as he struggles to save the tiny citizens of Whoville and Jojo, the smallest and unlikeliest of heroes. Together they tell a story of friendship, imagination, trust, hope and fun, musical hilarity. The Cat in the Hat takes charge as narrator of the zany tale, and various denizens of Dr. Seuss’ most beloved tales take to the stage.
Seussical runs April 25 to May 5 at the White Rock Players Theatre, 1532 Johnston Rd. For tickets, visit FVGSS.org/seussical or call the box office at 604-536-7535.