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We're very grateful for the awesome comments people have made about our current production of Mary's Wedding thus far. By sharing them below, we hope you'll be convinced to experience this powerful production for yourself. :) Show runs January 24 - February 2. Click here for details.

 

MW_-_rehearsal-4497sm"This is a must see...what a great show." – Audience Member

 

"Thanks for the great show...a profound script, good acting, and the sound was excellent. (We) think it is the best Gallery 7 we have seen. Well done. Two thumbs up!" – Audience Member

 

"Still thinking about Gallery 7 Theatre's production of Mary's Wedding. Brilliantly acted by Annette Reilly & Matt Veenbaas and beautifully directed by Katherine Hill. Congrats to the cast and crew on a stellar opening night!!!!!" – Audience Member

 

"Everyone needs to go see the play Mary's Wedding being put on by Gallery 7 here in Abbotsford. If you only see one play, make it this one! Beautifully acted ... and directed. The show was amazing!! You will laugh and cry! A must see!" – Audience Member

 

"Looking for a way to bust out of those January blues?! Here's some great theatre to check out! Mary's Wedding (Gallery 7) and Ernestine Shushwap Gets Her Trout (UFV). Both shows are really well done and a refreshing change from your typical theatre experience." – Audience Member

 

"Just saw Mary's Wedding at Gallery 7 theatre this evening!!! Fabulous show and brilliantly acted!" – Audience Member

 

"I just got in from watching Gallery 7 Theatre's latest production, Mary's Wedding. All I can say is, Wow. I was drawn in and lost for the entire 90 min production. Time flew by due to the fantastic acting, not a dry eye in the house at the end, and the actors got a well-deserved standing ovation...this is a MUST SEE. I highly recommend you see this production by the great Canadian playwright Stephen Massicotte. Support local live theater..." – Audience Member

 

"An outstanding play." – Audience MemberMW_-_rehearsal-5564sm

 

"Outstanding...enjoyed it from start to finish! ...The show did not receive the accolades it deserved. (I) attended the matinee and felt (the audience) did not clap enough for the phenomenal production." – Audience Member

 

"Mary's Wedding at Gallery 7 is a fabulous show. Endearing, sad, happy. The actors do such an incredible job of portraying this time period and the upheavals people experienced due to the First World War. I don't want to give anything away. Go see it!" – Audience Member

 

"Listen up people: Cancel any plans you may have next weekend or the weekend after and GO SEE Mary's Wedding at Gallery 7 Theatre. OH MY GOSH! It is so, so good. Brilliant script, superb acting, gorgeous set/sound/lighting. Bring your Kleenex, bring your friends, DON'T MISS THIS PLAY!!" - Audience Member

 

"Went to Gallery 7's play Mary's Wedding this afternoon....this is the most amazing production. Make sure you get to see it." – Audience Member

 

"Saw the show tonight. WOW!" – Audience Member

 

MW_-_rehearsal-5569sm"My husband and I loved the play!!! We could not believe the talent of your actor & actress. Their memory recall for all their lines was amazing and how they breathed their characters. It really drew you into the story. WE were very impressed and have shared this with others and will continue to do so." – Audience Member

 

"We enjoyed the play very much, well done! Thank-you...I've been encouraging people to go and see...a must see!" – Audience Member

 

"My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the play. We have already recommended this production to several of our friends, and will do so again to our Bible Study group. I especially related to the theme of healing, it is very poignant at this time in my life." – Audience Member

 

"Thank you for a wonderful production. My wife and I enjoyed it very much. The set was perfect for the play, the lights, sound...worked very well together. We found it hard to believe that we sat for 90 minutes and did not notice the time passing. The actors did a fantastic job. They helped me think of the deaths of members of my family and how I see them everywhere, but the pain gets less. It was moving to see that portrayed on stage. Thank you. We would highly recommend the play to friends and colleagues." - Audience Member

MW_-_publicity_-4326_smWelcome to a new week! We thought you'd enjoy reading director Katherine Hill's thoughts on Mary's Wedding, which opened just this last weekend here at Gallery 7 Theatre. We've been receiving awesome reviews on the show so hope you're able to take time out of your busy schedule to join us for this Canadian masterpiece by Stephen Massicotte. Here's Katherine:

 

I read Mary's Wedding for the first time when I accepted the wonderful invitation to direct it. I simply could not not direct this stunning play. Much of it resonated with me on both personal and artistic levels. As an English immigrant myself, I loved the character of Mary and could relate to her. What attracted me most to the play, however, was how simple a story it is. This simplicity is seen in the context of a dream about love lost that takes place around the time of WWI. The story explores that world and what relationships at that time often had to face. Many people lost loved ones, be it a family member, a neighbour or a relationship that was just beginning to blossom.

 

As I began to work on the concepts, themes and character development, I wanted to remain faithful to that simplicity. There is so very much in the play's text that to over-complicate it with a lot of movement and a busy set, would take away the heart of Stephen Massicotte's wonderfully written piece.

 

Mary's Wedding is about hope, love, death, courage, adventure, peace and being set free. Mary has struggled to move forward after the war and this final dream about her relationship with Charlie, how they met and what they each experienced at that time, is a goodbye to that pain and an attempt to embrace peace.

 

With our production, I wanted to create the sense that the dream is being controlled by Mary and her desires, but in the end, is given permission to move on by Charlie's 'spirit'. It was also important for me to keep the essence of how the character's met, fell in love and courted as being very real while still experiencing the story in the context of a dream. The moments where Charlie is at war were to also have that real quality about them so that we could remember what so many brave men experienced before us.

 

It has been such a joy working with the cast, crew and designers. This project has certainly been created out of love and one where everyone has quite literally been on the same creative page. We've even shed a tear or two in the process.

 

This play is a chance for us to remember. To remember the war: the bravery, the passion, the ability to look beyond ourselves. To remember loved ones and what they mean to us. I hope it gives you the chance to remember too. And in the old 'Keep Calm and Carry On' adage I shall add this:  Keep Calm and Love On

 

Enjoy the show!

 

 


 

katherine_hill-3570_smThis is Katherine first directing role with Gallery 7 Theatre. She had the pleasure of acting in their last show, Sense & Sensibility. Katherine has a BA Honors in Film & Theatre at The University of Reading, England and a Diploma in acting from VFS. She has worked as an actor, director and producer for both Theatre and Film and co-founded a film production company, EVE Entertainment Inc in 2009. Working as an actor for many years has been invaluable to Katherine in how to direct actors. She has also loved working as an acting coach for a number of years in teaching youth and adults. Directing such a talented cast and working with such creative and wonderful designers in Mary's Wedding has been a pleasure as Katherine looks forward to many more directing endeavors.

 

Mary's Wedding runs January 24 - 26, and January 31 through February 2 @ 7:30 PM with matinees on January 26 & February 2 at 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Cleabrook Road, Abbotsford. Tickets can be purchased at in person or by phone at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford, 604-852-3701 or 1-800-665-8828, or online at www.gallery7theatre.com.

annette_reilly_-_4393_smMeet Annette Reilly, who's playing Mary in our upcoming production of Mary's Wedding. Though she hasn't appeared on our stage since Little Women a few years back, she's directed lots for us including productions of The Trip to Bountiful, Pride and Prejudice and The Matchmaker. In the midst of being a busy mom, memorizing lines and attending rehearsals, Annette took a few minutes to answer some questions we had, and we share them with you for your reading enjoyment...

 

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?

 

Annette (AR): I had a great music and drama teacher in elementary school that I simply adored. I wanted to be a part of everything she was in charge of; that included the annual school play. I started as a part of the chorus and slowly worked my way up each year until I nabbed the lead in my grade 7 production of The Jungle Book- yes, I played Mowgli, a boy. This gave me the incentive to try out for community theatre where I did The Sound of Music. My love of theatre was cemented by that point and all I could think of was performing. We then moved from a small town in Alberta to the Lower Mainland which gave me access to all sorts of theatre and film opportunities. I was acting professionally by the age of 16, booking film and tv roles. I then went to the University of Victoria where I got my B.F.A. with an acting specialization. I have since continued to act, but my focus has shifted somewhat to directing and producing both film and theatre. I also thoroughly enjoy teaching the craft of acting.

 

There is nothing like that feeling waiting backstage right before you walk out on stage. Wait...actually, I hate that feeling. The feeling I do like is the one at the end of the show when you have just given your heart and soul to the audience. For me, there is no greater sense of accomplishment than when I step off the stage knowing that I gave everything that I was in that moment. The freedom to be vulnerable and the complete release of self. Being immersed in a role is a time where I can step away from my life, from my troubles, and enjoy living a moment in someone else's shoes. There is no other profession where you can live the experiences of an ancient Greek, or a Victorian Brit, or a turn of the century American all in one life time.

 

G7: What drew you to this play?

 

AR: Mary's Wedding is a stunning love story with two very special, well thought out, intelligent characters. It is so beautifully written, how could I not fall in love with it once I read it? Mary is a female actor's dream role. She has depth of character, a sensitive soul, and a bit of sass. I am also very drawn to both The Great War and WWII. Those time periods fascinate me. The thought of what the men and women of those war generations went through is mind boggling to someone of my generation. War has changed greatly since the technological revolution. Hand to hand combat, where men had to look each other in the eye as they were killing each other, is something somewhat of the past. At least to the magnitude that it used to happen. The sheer number of men lost to us during those wars in enough to make me break down in tears, not to mention the tenacity and courage that the women had to possess in order to survive.

 

G7: What's the most vivid dream you've ever had?

 

AR: The most vivid dream I ever had? To be honest, the only dreams I tend to remember vividly are my nightmares. I had a recurring nightmare as a child where Yosemite Sam from Looney Toons would chase Casey and Finnegan from Mr. Dress-up around a tower type building with a whole bunch of doors. I'm not sure why I found it so terrifying, but I did. I must have been deeply connected with Casey and Finnegan or something...

 

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

 

AR: I hope that this play will make people remember the first time they fell in love. I hope it reminds people to dream. I hope it reminds people to remember those who gave their lives for the freedom of our country. I hope that people will remember that their loved ones will always be a part of them, whether they are still on this earth or have gone up to be with our Lord.

 

G7: What's your favourite way to relax?

 

AR: My favourite way to relax is a spa date with a girlfriend or my husband. As long as it includes a massage! However, this costs a lot of money, so I tend to keep my relaxation down to a hot bath with salts and a glass of champagne or white wine.

 

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

 

AR: A seafood smorgasbord! I would want Atlantic Lobster, King Crab, fresh Oysters from the Pacific, Caviar, Mussels, Scallops, etc... Oh, with a side plate of perfectly cooked asparagus and green beans. And a decadent chocolate mousse for dessert.

 

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

 

AR: My husband and I went on a wonderful date once for less than $5. It serves to remind us that it's not the amount of money that is spent, but the quality time that is important.

 

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?

 

AR: I would have dinner with William Shakespeare. I would ask him if he was indeed the man of many words who wrote all those plays and poems. Then, I'd get him to write a sonnet for me :)

 

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

 

AR: The best advice I was ever given is that our pain and hurt can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. Sometimes we need to go through life changes and experiences to become the people that God wants us to be.

 

G7: Did you make a New Year's Resolution this year? If so, what was it? If not, why not?

 

AR: I don't make New Year's Resolutions. I don't want to disappoint myself and feel like a failure if I don't hold to it. I'd rather set healthy goals for myself that I can live on a daily basis without the pressure of reaching the goal by year end.

 

 


Marys_WeddingMary's Wedding opens January 18th and runs January 19, 24 - 26, 31 - Feb. 2, 2013 at 7:30 PM with matinees on January 19, 16 & Feb 2 at 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. Tickets can be purchased in person or by phone at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street or online here.

Matt_Veenbaas-1351_smMatt Veenbaas has been pretty busy of late when it comes to theatre, having appeared in our recent production of The Importance of Being Earnest as Earnest and in last fall's production of Sense and Sensibility as Willougby . Now he's playing Charlie in our production of Mary's Wedding, opening this Friday. While enjoying a weekend off from rehearsals and his real life job as a mechanic, Matt took some time to talk about how he got his start in theatre, the most vivid dream he's ever had, and the best advice he ever received. 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?

 

Matt Veenbaas (MV): My acting background is very sparse and not very interesting! I was in high school and I'm a huge movie/TV person; plenty of times I watch a movie and think "I could do a better job", so when I was in grade eleven, my school was doing the non-musical version of "Les Miserables". Looking at the audition list, there was no guy from my grade, and I though that was sad, so I figured why not, what's the worst that could happen, and was given the lead! Ever since, I've had a passion for acting, I love the relationships I create with the other actors/actresses and I guess as long as I get cast without having to go to school for it, I'm good!

 

G7: What drew you to this play?

 

MV: I acted alongside the director of Mary's Wedding, Katherine Hill, in Sense and Sensibility, and she was talking about the next play that G7 was doing. The fact that it has only two people the entire time piqued my interest. I love being challenged in acting, so this sounded perfect. As well as having the director be a close friend of mine, it sounded perfect.

 

G7: What's the most vivid dream you've ever had?

 

MV: My most vivid dream was when I was a child, around six I think. Me and my family had just come home from a big family dinner with my dad's side of the family, and me and my cousins watched Return of the Jedi. It's the first time I saw a Star Wars movie, so when I dreamed that night, I dreamed I was Luke Skywalker fighting Darth Vader on the Death Star. Sounds awesome right? Not so much, as that was definitely a nightmare, that's why it was so vivid!

 

G7: Was there something in your personal life that you could draw from to conjure up the feelings of fear that Charlie feels as he experiences WW1?


MV: To try and utilize the fear that Charlie experiences during thunderstorms and WW1, I only had a couple things that I could pry from my personal life to try and mimic that fear. During my childhood, my two biggest fears were death and I had claustrophobia. Having the fear of death was a good emotion to delve into for the war scenes, and my former phobia of constricting places was good for the thunderstorm scenes.

 

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


MV: I think being a part of a faith-based theatre is important, but I wouldn't make it a necessity in my decision of joining a theatre group. In today's society, it can be incredibly difficult in finding Christian values being portrayed in modern entertainment, and in the lives of the people that create the entertainment; the fact of the matter is that there's a reason, majority of the time, it's not there. There could be the question "how can you portray a Christian life in this entertainment industry?" and I think G7 does a great job at that. They prove that you can be Christian and still be able to reenact/tell stories to an audience.

 

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

 

MV: Everyone is going to watch this play and have different opinions about how they felt, or what the point of the story was, so I just hope that they leave with an optimistic heart. Leave the theatre and walk outside feeling good, that you're happy.

 

G7: What's your favourite way to relax?


MV: Favourite way to relax would be to read a book in my room. I have the perfect setup where I have a very comfortable chair in my room that I sit in, comfortably, and listen to some sort of orchestral music on my stereo that makes me comfortable, and I read. It's very... comfortable. I might also have a drink with me.

 

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

 

MV: My mom's lasagna, it's awesome.

 

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


MV: I bought a shirt at the thrift shop, but it was brand spanking new! It was a short sleeve button up, and the material was like those high-tech golf shirts, where it doesn't get wet from sweat or anything. There were two there for 2.50 apiece, I bought both! I was pretty proud of myself.

 

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?


MV: I would like to have dinner with C.S Lewis. I love his stories, both fictional and theological, and find it incredible that what he wrote sixty-odd years ago is very relevant to today's society, as well as "The Chronicles of Narnia" is great to read, I bought the series for the main purpose to read to my future children. The first question I would ask is "Could you just talk for a while, talk about you life, or something?"

 

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


MV: Be home by ten, that way you get some sleep. :D

 

G7: Did you make a New Year's Resolution this year? If so, what was it? If not, why not?


MV: I made no New Year's resolutions. I just hope and pray that this year will be even better than last year. Not to say last year was bad or anything, but if there was some way in making this year better, I've done my job well.

 

 


 

Marys_WeddingMary's Wedding opens January 18th and runs January 19, 24 - 26, 31 - Feb. 2, 2013 at 7:30 PM with matinees on January 19, 16 & Feb 2 at 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. Tickets can be purchased in person or by phone at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street or online here.

Happy New Year! Hope you had a great Christmas holiday. We had a nice break, but hard at work, getting ready for Mary's Wedding which opens on January 18th here at Gallery 7 Theatre. This is a must-see show - a moving story of love, loss, war and peace. In the lead-up to the show, we thought we'd share with you some interesting background information on the show, compiled by Sharra Ganzeveld. We've sprinkled in sketches of the costume design by Catrina Lewis and a sneak peek at the set design by Brian Ball. Enjoy!

 

MaryProp2Mary's Wedding is written by Canadian playwright, Stephen Massicotte, who was born in Trenton, Ontario. This is Massicotte's first full-length play, and took three years to research and write, and two years to rework.

 

When it debuted, Mary's Wedding was very enthusiastically received by audiences and reviewers. It was awarded the Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play in 2002 and the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Outstanding New Publication.

 

Since its premiere in 2002, it has been widely produced across the country, as well as in Washington and San Jose. Internationally, it has been produced in Perth, Scotland, and translated into French.

 

Massicotte started out writing a play about the Strathcona Regiment's heroic charge on Moreuil Wood during WW1, but the story ended up becoming much more personal. As Charlie and Mary's relationship began to reflect Massicotte's own relationship, he began to fashion their experiences more and more after his own. What developed was a beautiful play with the love of Charlie and Mary at the heart, and the Great War and its tragedy the backdrop rather than the focus.

 

The play was inspired by and includes quotes from "Charge of the Light Brigade" and "The Lady of Shalott" by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Tennyson was an incredibly popular poet in the Victorian era, and Canadian school children would begin to learn his poetry as early as grades 2-4.

 

The events Charlie participates in during the war are historical, namely the Battle of Moreuil Wood (30 March 1918). Mary's Wedding highlights the role of the Canadian Calvary Regiment known as Lord Strathcona's Horse, in which Charlie serves, in this battle. The Battle of Moreuil Wood was one of the last great cavalry assaults in history.

 

Costume_Design_-_CharlieCostume_Design_-_MaryThe real Lieutenant Gordon Flowerdew, on whom the play's character 'Flowers' is based, led a squadron of Lord Strathcona's Horse and stopped the German advance, marking a turning point in the war. Marshal Ferdinand Foch, supreme commander of all Allies armies in Europe during 1918, reportedly commented that Flowerdew's charge at Moreuil Wood "...possibly deflected the whole course of history."

 

The real-life Canadian war hero Gordon Flowerdew was decorated with the Victoria Cross for extreme bravery after the Battle of Moreuil Wood, the most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to Canadian (British and Commonwealth) forces. Among the other combatants in this battle several medals and honours were received: One Distinguished Service Order; eight Military Crosses; eight Distinguished Conduct Medals; and forty-two other military medals.

 

Massicotte has written a screenplay for Mary's Wedding, as there have been discussions about turning Mary's Wedding into a movie in the future. The play has also been adapted as an opera libretto, premiering in Victoria in November 2011.

 

Massicotte has enjoyed growing recognition the world over and has received many awards for his growing collection of plays.

 

 


 

Marys_WeddingMary's Wedding runs January 18 & 19, 24 - 26, 31 - February 2, 2013 at 7:30 PM with discount matinees on January 19, 26 & Feb 2 at 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. Tickets are on sale now through House of James or online.