Find us on Facebookfb

becky_wiebe_-_smThought we'd get one more "Meet the Cast & Crew" blog post in before the close of Sense and Sensibility by featuring Becky Wiebe. You may remember Becky on stage in other productions at G7, including Quiet in the Land and The Outsiders. She is playing Mrs. Henry Dashwood in our current production. Enjoy this little 'chat' we had with Becky, and then come on out to our final performance tonight (Saturday, Nov. 17) at 7:30 PM. We have a seat just for YOU!

 

Gallery 7 (G7): Tell us about your acting background – how did you get involved in theatre in the first place? What makes you continue with it?

 

Becky Wiebe (BW): My first real theatre experience was when I was 12 years old, and I played a boy in a Low German play. In high school, I took a drama class and was involved in any way that I could in our productions, from props to make up and even on the stage. I loved it so much. Then came an 18 year hiatus, until I tried out for Quiet in the Land with Gallery 7 in Fall of 2010. It was an amazing experience! Then in fall of 2011, I auditioned for The Outsiders and again, I couldn't believe I was cast. Being a part of a play is like going to Disneyland for me. It is a magical experience.

 

G7: What drew you to this play?

 

BW: I am a Jane Austen geek. I watch Jane Austen movies over and over, read the books, and have watched movies connected with Jane Austen. She is an amazing storyteller, and I am over the moon to be a part of a Jane Austen play.

 

G7: Is it important to you to be involved with a faith-based theatre? If so, why?

 

BW: I feel it is important because God is everywhere, even in entertainment. I think it is especially important to recognize God and his involvement in our lives in all areas.

 

G7: What do you hope audiences will take away from this play?

 

BW: I hope that the audience is transported to a different time and place for a few hours every night!

 

G7: What's your favourite way to relax?

 

BW: Watch movies, especially Jane Austen movies, and more recently, Downtown Abbey.

 

G7: If you were on death row, what would you request as your last meal?

 

BW: Schnitzel with cream cheese mashed potatoes

 

G7: What's the best 5 bucks you ever spent?SS_pubilicity-3705_sm

 

BW: Little Caesar's pizza?

 

G7: If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or living, who would it be and what's the first question you'd ask him/her?

 

BW: I will answer the question as living, as dead gets a little complicated. I would have dinner with my friend Cynthia from Paraguay and I would say "How are you!"

 

G7: Best advice your mom or dad ever gave you?

 

BW: Don't put your bag on the public bathroom floor.

Tracey_Anderton-4104_smWe're continuing our "Meet the Cast & Crew" series today with Tracey Anderton. You've seen Tracey on our stage several times in the past in such productions as  The Diary of Anne Frank, Quiet in the Land and The Matchmaker. Pull up a chair, a cup of coffee (or other warm drink) and enjoy this little chat with the woman playing Mrs. Jennings in our current production of Sense and Sensibility...

 

Gallery 7: Tell us about your acting background – how did you get involved in theatre in the first place? What makes you continue with it?

 

Tracey Anderton (T.A.): About 12 years ago I saw an audition call in the local Abbotsford paper for Heritage Valley's dinner theatre (keep in mind that the only drama I had taken in school was a Grade 6 production that was cancelled half way through rehearsals due to lack of parental assistance – so I really didn't have any experience but have always been interested in it) The ad was for the show Tony & Tina's Wedding and I went to the audition not knowing what to expect or even what to do. I met a guy there who had worked with my Dad and he helped/walked me through the audition process... and when I heard someone singing the same song that I was going to sing – he turned to me and said, "So?? Do it better!" I had such a fun time at the audition, and then for the 6 months we were in production... I was hooked!

 

G7: What drew you to this play?

 

T.A.: When I saw the Emma Thompson version of the movie – I fell in love with it!!! Ironically, I first heard about this movie when I overheard a co-worker going on and on about it – how it was so romantic and she could watch it every week etc. etc. etc. so I decided to go out and look for it. I rented it, watched it, absolutely loved and then went out and bought it. I found out a few weeks later that she had actually been talking about Pride and Prejudice! Personally I think I ended up with the better movie.

 

G7: Is it important to you to be involved with a faith-based theatre? If so, why?

 

T.A.: When I first started working with Gallery 7 five years ago, I don't think I really thought it was that important, now, however, I am happy to consider that in my decision of who to audition for and/or who to work with. It's a very safe, welcoming environment and everyone is treated with respect.

 

G7: What do you hope audiences will take away from this play?

 

T.A.: That love conquers all things...

 

G7: Anything else you want to share?

 

T.A.: Five years ago our director, Sarah Hu, gave me my first opportunity to work with Gallery 7 and I am beyond thrilled to be working with her again.

 

G7: Jane Austen is clearly popular with audiences and you'll have dedicated fans in the audience – how does that affect you as an actor?

 

T.A.: I think it makes the desire to "do them proud" even more. It certainly raises the bar knowing that there will be a certain level of expectation from the audience... some of them will probably know the play/book or movie inside and out and will know if we are being true to our characters or not.

 

G7: What's your favourite way to relax?

 

T.A.: I love to read so I'm usually found with a book in my hand. I also love to scrapbook and hold monthly workshops/crops where I usually socialize more than scrapbook!! And because I am a night owl you will usually find me late at night on Facebook cyber stalking my friends and playing Pioneer Trail!


G7: If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or living, who would it be and what's the first question you'd ask him/her?

 

T.A.: I would love to have the opportunity to have dinner (or even just time) with my maternal grandparents. They died when my Mom was in her late teens and I have so many questions for them. The first being, "What made you come to Canada – giving up everything you knew and leaving all your family and friends behind?"

 

They came to Canada from Ireland via Scotland on what was known at that time as the Homesteader's grant (1927). They came over by ship, then by train from Halifax, then horse and buggy to a small settlement about 4 ½ hours (current driving time) northeast of Edmonton, Alberta.

 

My grandparents were part of 52 founding families that made up the town of St. Brides and the first thing the community did was build their church – 85 years later it is still standing and can be seen from miles and miles away. Its steeple was and still is a beacon of hope, faith and love.

 

My grandparent's faith must have been very strong to have even made the move from the old country - and to do all the work necessary to build up the family farm when they only started out with a plow, some seed, a cow, a few chickens and a quarter section of land.

 

G7: Best advice your mom or dad ever gave you?

 

T.A.: The best advice my parents ever gave me comes in the form of old sayings... "Never judge a book by its cover!!" "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" 

 


 

 

Sense__Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility runs November 15 - 17, 2013 at 7:30 PM with a discount matinee on November 17 at 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. Tickets are on sale now at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford or by calling 604-852-3701.

katherine_hill-3570_smWe continue our "Meet the Cast & Crew" blog series today with a conversation with Katherine Hill, who is playing Elinor in our current production of Sense and Sensibility. Katherine has been involved in Gallery 7 Theatre as a dialect coach over the past couple of years and she will be directing our next production of Mary's Wedding, but this is her first appearance on our stage. Grab a cup of coffee and a blanket, pull up the screen and enjoy...

 

Gallery 7 (G7) Tell us about your acting background – how did you get involved in theatre in the first place? What makes you continue with it?

 

Katherine Hill (KH) I fell in love with the stage when I saw my first opera at age 4. I was in Heidelberg, Germany watching in the castle under the stars. It was such a breathtaking experience that I knew in that moment I belonged there. From then on, I took part in school productions, joined local theatre companies performing on the main stage and made acting and theatre studies my sole direction for education. I have been blessed to play a number of roles ranging from a 'ventriloquist dummy' in Bugsy Malone to 'Lady Macbeth' in Macbeth. I continue to do this because of that feeling and moment as I was mesmerized at the age of 4. Those images stay with me forever and continually remind me what makes theatre so beautiful and has the ability to captivate its audience wondrously. If I can be any part of that beauty and experience, I am more than happy.

 

G7: What drew you to this play?

 

KH: Oh gosh...what wouldn't draw me to Jane Austen? I have been completely enamored by her work for many, many years. The themes and desires and lessons in Jane Austen's books will never grow old. I have always loved period pieces, particularly ones that feature such strong women and that is what Austen does so well. Add in some romance, passion and drama and well...you had me at "Mr. Darcy!"...or should I say "Mr. Ferrars!"

 

G7: Is it important to you to be involved with a faith-based theatre? If so, why?

 

KH: Honestly, being a part of any production is great and I don't make a preference one way or another. However, there is something very 'comforting' about being involved with a faith based theatre, knowing that they too share the same love for God and people. One great example was, during this process I have been very busy and had a hard time getting my schedule together. One of the production team told me that she had been praying for my situation and for the stress to be relieved. How wonderful! That's what makes the experience extra special.

 

G7: What do you hope audiences will take away from this play?

 

KH: I hope that they will be able to go on this journey with us....to feel as we feel, to hope as we hope, to learn as we have learned, to smile, to laugh, to cry and to have....even for just one night...allowed themselves to simply feel.

 

G7: Jane Austen is clearly popular with audiences and you! You'll have dedicated fans in the audience – how does that affect you as an actor?

 

KH: It is an honor. I too am one of those people so it is important to me that I do commit to who I believe Eleanor is and how she has been written. At the same time though, it has to be believable and all I can do is commit to the role and the words that I have been given. I can only hope my interpretation of her will do justice to the fans.

 

G7: What's your favourite way to relax?

 

KH: Listening to jazz music with my favorite drink in hand.

 

G7: If you were on death row, what would you request as your last meal?SS_pubilicity-3679_sm

 

KH: I'm not sure there's enough space...cheesecake, definitely New York Cheesecake...a cheese platter from around the world, an expensive bottle of an Argentinian Malbec wine, caprese salad with spagetti primavera, gelato imported from Italy, mushroom risotto, Belgium chocolates, chocolate covered strawberries, chips & salsa...actually could I have more of a feast? Or maybe just send me to Italy for the night!

 

G7: What's the best 5 bucks you ever spent?

 

KH: A hoody when I got trapped in a torrential downpour wearing a tank top and skirt. I only had $10 on me and needed to walk another hour to get home.

 

G7:  If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or living, who would it be and what is the first question you'd ask him/her?

 

KH: Meryl Streep - "How do you do it?"

 

G7: Best advice your mom or dad ever gave you?


KH: I'm paraphrasing here but essentially "stick to your guns. Do what you know is right and don't let anyone else walk over you."

 

G7: Anything else you want to share?

 

I feel that often, we as a society forget what makes art so integral to our everyday lives. We can place other academic subjects above drama, art, music, photography but what is forgotten is the long lasting effects that art has on the human being. Art allows for self-expression. When pain and fear and anxiety arises and we do not know what to do with all those feelings, we can express it on stage, sing a song, dance. The stage is an incredible place for children to gain a greater confidence in themselves, as it did for me. As an artist, I have the amazing opportunity to work with a variety of different people and learn never to judge because they always surprise me with just how wonderful they are. Art teaches us to love, to listen, to engage, to be personable and to be open.

 

 


 

Sense__SensibilitySense and Sensibility runs November 3, 8 - 10, 15 - 17, 2013 at 7:30 PM with discount matinees on November 3, 10 & 17 at 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. Tickets are on sale now at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford or by calling 604-852-3701.

kenzie_hall_-_smActually, you've met this next actor several times. He appeared in our productions of Chickens, The Matchmaker, Pride and Prejudice and Quiet in the Land. He's also worked behind the scenes on a few shows. Enjoy a 'conversation' with Kenzie Hall, who's playing Edward in our current production of Sense and Sensibility.

 

Gallery 7 (G7): Tell us about your acting background – how did you get involved in theatre in the first place? What makes you continue with it?

 

Kenzie Hall (KH): When I was younger, I always loved playing games or acting out stories, often using my house, or yard as various locations from space ships to castles. I never really took that as "acting"... I was just playing around with friends, using our imaginations to entertain ourselves.

 

In Grade 10, I took a drama class that I really started exploring acting. That same year, I joined the school's theatre production course, starting out as a sound operator for the two main stage productions. It wasn't until the following year that I built up enough courage to ask to be considered to act in shows. I continued with the course until I graduated in 2006, loving every minute of it.

 

It wasn't until a few years after high school that I auditioned for a show with Gallery 7, after some coercion from a friend who had worked with this company in the past. Since that time, I have acted in six G7 shows (Sense and Sensibility included) and worked back stage for three. Also during this time, I worked with an extras agency as a background performer for about a year, working on various television/movie projects.

 

I think I continue with acting in general because there is something so liberating and comforting about the entire process. The amount of trust that goes into each show from everyone is absolutely incredible. Never before have I had to trust, or be trusted by others, in the way that acting demands to put on an amazing show.

 

G7: What drew you to this play?

 

KH: I think what really drew me to this play was the fact that Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice was the first play I had done with G7, and something about working on this project with this company felt very warm and a sense of coming full circle. Also knowing how well Gallery 7 dealt with Pride and Prejudice, I knew this one was not to be missed out on.

 

G7: Is it important to you to be involved with a faith-based theatre? If so, why?

 

KH: Not necessarily. I think the way stories or ideas are expressed play an important role in good theatre and good story telling. Gallery 7, being a faith base theatre, does put a lot of thought and care into the stories that they share with the community. They don't necessarily always pick something that everyone will agree with, but the shows definitely touch on some extremely interesting and important topics. The company handles them in a way that is carefully thought-out and presented.

 

G7: What do you hope audiences will take away from this play?SS_pubilicity-3686_sm

 

KH: That everybody makes mistakes, nobody is perfect, we all have our struggles and make decisions in our lives that can directly impact the course of it. It is important to learn from those mistakes and from that, grow as individuals. We can sometimes find a person in ourselves that we never knew existed.

 

G7: If you were on death row, what would you request as your last meal?

 

KH: Probably a Cheese burger with some bacon and french fries (deep fried) and a coke. If that wasn't available, a good friend makes an awesome breakfast hash brown casserole with cheese, and farmer sausage, that would very much be acceptable... or why not both?

 

G7: What's the best 5 bucks you ever spent?

 

KH: 2012 Abbotsford International Airshow, temperature was roughly 40 degrees.... mild breeze... $4.50 slurpee... saved my life. Would buy it again if I had too.

 

 


Sense__SensibilitySense and Sensibility runs November 3, 8 - 10, 15 - 17, 2013 at 7:30 PM with discount matinees on November 3, 10 & 17 at 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. Tickets are on sale now at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford or by calling 604-852-3701.

Last week, we started a new blog series to introduce you to some of the cast and crew of Sense and Sensibility. Amanada Thiessen is not new to Gallery 7 Theatre - you saw her make-up design talents at work in last year's The Fantasticks - but this is her first appearance on our stage. She is playing Marianne, and she took a few moments to answer some questions we had for her...

 

amanda_thiessen-3215smGallery 7 (G7): Tell us about your acting background – how did you get involved in theatre in the first place? What makes you continue with it?

 

Amanda (AT): I've been on stage in some way or another since I was about 3 when a friend of my grandmother placed me on the stage of our church Christmas party and told me to sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; since then it's where I've felt the most at home. The stage is a place where you can leave your school, work, bills, and life behind and become someone else, even if it's just for a short while. And once you experience the rush of that first moment being on stage opening night, there really is no going back...or there wasn't for me anyway.

 

G7: What drew you to this play?

 

AT: The characters in this play are so lively, even when they are close to death's door. As I was reading the novel, preparing for my audition, I couldn't help but put myself in the place of the characters. Their story pulled me in, made me feel for them, sympathise with them, and at the end I couldn't help but feel that the pieces were put together perfectly.

 

G7: What do you hope audiences will take away from this play?

 

AT: I hope audiences take the not so subtle hint that to fall in love all you have to do is be yourself, completely and utterly. Although the characters go through emotional roller coasters they stay true to themselves, well some of them do anyway. And those that don't do not find love, nor are they happy. It also helps to fall in love with someone who is your best friend.

 

G7: Jane Austen is clearly popular with audiences and you'll have dedicated fans in the audience – how does that affect you as an actor?

 

AT: Knowing that Jane Austen has such a huge following, and that some of the audience will have seen all three movies of Sense and Sensibility (none of which I have seen, although I have read the novel, and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters) is slightly intimidating. I just hope that they can see the truth in our characters and can appreciate the wonderful flow that the author, Jon Jory, and our director, Sarah Hu, have created.

 

G7: What's your favourite way to relax?SS_pubilicity-3705_sm

 

AT: My beanbag chair surrounded by a sea of pillows, my snuggie, and an amazing book. Or going to Introduction to Voice class and doing the Omega stretch...makes you drowsy and awake at the same time, SO GOOD!

 

G7: If you were on death row, what would you request as your last meal?

 

AT: My mom's Lasagne. Hands down. It's never the same way twice but it is always amazing! With my Oma's fluffed Jello for dessert, she never did get to share her secret with me so it would be nice to have it again.

 

G7: If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or living, who would it be and what's the first question you'd ask him/her?

 

AT: I would have dinner with Grace Kelly, and ask her if she knew at the time that she was living the fairytale life that so many young girls would dream of, and if it was really as perfect as it seemed.

 

 


 

Sense__SensibilitySense and Sensibility runs November 2 & 3, 8 - 10, 15 - 17, 2013 at 7:30 PM with discount matinees on November 3, 10 & 17 at 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. Tickets are on sale now at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford or by calling 604-852-3701.