Echo Players often finds it tough to find youth to perform on stage, but the Qualicum Beach theatre society has secured three for Mrs. Reynolds and the Ruffian.
The play focuses on the relationship between one teen delinquent, played by Mack Lazzarino, and a senior citizen, played by Aviva Fox.
“I’m generally a pretty horrible guy,” said Lazzarino of his lead character, explaining that he does drugs, he’s rude and he vandalizes property.
Although Lazzarino can’t relate to his British character, he enjoys playing the part, he said.
“I love being able to get into a completely nasty character and break loose of the social boundaries,” he said. “It’s a very refreshing experience.”
Lazzarino is in Grade 9 at Kwalikum Secondary School. He has been acting in Summer Theatre classes with Thea Stavroff at the Village Theatre for a number of years and he was encouraged to audition by his drama teacher.
Quinn Proud, who plays Lazzarino’s best friend, was in the same drama class. The Grade 10 student has acted previously but said it’s been awhile since he did an out-of-school play. He also auditioned because of his teacher.
Proud said that he enjoys the play because of its honesty.
“I love the fact that it’s so real,” he said. “It really talks about social and cultural issues that are going on and brings to light two different spectrums of culture.”
“I like that it’s completely gritty and real, not one of those happy-go-lucky guy-gets-the-girl ends to the story—doesn’t happen.”
The third teenager is being played by Ally Harris who won best actress at last year’s One Act Play Festival hosted by Echo Players.
The play premiered in England in 2011 and director Arlene Blundell said she enjoys the modern aspect of restorative justice playwright Gary Owen infused into it.
Mrs. Reynolds and the Ruffian is playing at the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach April 24 to May 11. Tickets are $19 for adults, $16 for seniors, $10 for students and $5 for 12 and under. Get them at the box office located at the theatre at 110 West 2nd Ave., by phone 250-752-3522 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. For box office hours and more information visit www.echoplayers.ca.
Contest- Win two tickets to the play. Email email@example.com with ‘Send me to see the Ruffian’ in the subject line by Monday, April 28. Include your name and phone number. Winners will be notified April 29.