Qualicum Beach resident Judy Hipkin has been cast in the new play When I'm 64

Qualicum Beach stage actress cast in new play

Actress met playwright through ECHO Players' production

When I’m 64, the name of the newest play Judy Hipkin is cast in, isn’t much of a stretch for her.

“I happen to be 64, exactly bang on,” said Hipkin, a Qualicum Beach resident.

Hipkin found out about the play while she was performing in ECHO Players’ A Doll’s House with Steve Hill.

Hill, who wrote When I’m 64, said he invited Hipkin to audition for the play which follows the stories of six Vancouver Island women “of a certain age” who are experiencing the impacts of various life transitions.

“They all find resilience and courage within themselves to overcome the challenges that they’re facing,” Hill said.

Hill said he was absolutely thrilled when he found out Hipkin was cast, adding that he enjoyed working with her in A Doll’s House.

Hipkin’s character Trish is a local dentist who survives breast cancer, her husband leaving her for her best friend and overcoming her fear of water to join Hope Afloat, a women’s dragon boat team.

“It’s very ordinary in a sense,” Hipkin said of the play. “It’s normal stuff. It’s taking place here and now with ladies who are doing regular stuff, nothing weird or way out. They’re just living their lives. Things are happening to them that they have to deal with.”

“Half the people in Qualicum Beach are my age or older,” Hipkin said. “So a lot of them will relate to what’s going on with all these people in this play.”

As an in-depth character study, Hipkin even met with Mary Connelly, one of the organizers of the Oceanside Dragon Boat Team and a breast cancer survivor. Hipkin added that she was even invited to practice with the team one evening.

Hipkin said with each new play, the characters she portrays become a part of her.

“I absorb them into my heart and my spirit,” said Hipkin, adding that she was struck by how honest Trish was. I thought if I absorb this person into me, I’m going to be lucky.”

Hipkin said in her audition she read four different parts.

“I read it and I thought, this is really special. It didn’t matter to me which parts, the parts were all great,” Hipkin said.

Hill said he was absolutely thrilled when he found out Hipkin was cast in the play.

When I’m 64 will be playing at the Roxy Theatre (377 Berry Point Rd.) on Gabriola Island on Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. It will also be playing at the Harbour City Theatre (25 Victoria Rd., Nanaimo) Sept. 23-24, 30 and Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 2 at 2 p.m.

To find out about tickets, visit www.westernedge.org/ticket-and-general-info.

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