Royal Bay secondary school students Luke James (left) and Cheyenne Ferguson take on the leads for Nice Work If You Can Get It

Royal Bay theatre students perform with purpose

Nice Work if You Can Get It opens April 28 at the Teechamitsa Theatre

When Cheyenne Ferguson found out she got the part, she cried.

Reading the finalized cast list for Royal Bay secondary school’s rendition of Nice Work if You Can Get It, the Grade 12 student fell to the floor, her friends comforting her while she wept.

“I had practiced all summer ever since (director Melissa Young) announced what show we would be doing. I practiced every day like I needed this role. I wanted this role so bad,” she said. “I feel like I worked really hard for it, so I’m really glad I got it. I really cried, I was so excited, tears were rolling down my face.”

A former Belmont student who followed the musical theatre program to the Colwood school, Ferguson has buried herself in the program ever since, rehearsing three to five days a week as the group ramps up for a five-show run at the school’s Teechamitsa Theatre.

When she gets home, she works on it some more. She says it is a lifestyle now, one that’s changed who she is.

“Without theatre I would be sitting in the back of the class not talking. It’s crazy how much it brings out your confidence. I’m not good at anything else; before I discovered acting I was just kind of lost.”

What started with her first acting class at John Stubbs school led Ferguson to the lead role of Billie Bendix, a prohibition era bootlegger on the lookout to sell 400 cases of gin. Set amid the backdrop of the 1920s to the music of George and Ira Gershwin, Nice Work sees Bendix eventually fall in love with the wealthy Jimmy Winter, played by classmate Luke James.

The 18-year-old Colwood resident takes on the role of a playboy going on his fourth marriage, a role he, too, says has been “life changing.”

“It has given me a goal, otherwise I would just be coming to school every day and going to class – repeat, repeat, repeat,” James said. “This has given me a big end goal I can strive towards and push myself further. It’s been awesome to have this big event to look forward to; it’s finally coming to a head.”

With just over a week to go before opening night, James is hoping theatre lovers take the opportunity to see the end result of all the work the cast and crew have put in to live up to their own high standards.

This musical theatre experience is something both he and Ferguson said have taken over their lives.

“It’s the reason I wake up in the morning, to go practice theatre and to be in the theatre and to learn more and better myself,” Ferguson said. “(Before) I didn’t really feel strongly about anything, I was just floating along and now, I just have a purpose.”

Mark your calendar:

Nice Work if You Can Get It runs April 28 to 29 and May 5 to 6 at 7 p.m. with a matinee April 30 at 2 p.m.

• Tickets are available at the Royal Bay secondary office, 3500 Ryder Hesjedal Way, or at the door.

• Cost is $12.50 for adults, $10.50 for students and seniors and $5 for School District 62 students.

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Cycslists were all smiles during ninth Tour de Victoria

More than 2,100 cyclists participated

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after Const. Beckett’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Police investigating incident in Saanich neighbourhood

Neighbours tell Black Press Media that a body has been found, but police remain tight-lipped.

Langford lizard sighting excites Victoria museum curator

Curator of vertebrate zoology/knowledge explains the spread of the Wall lizard in the region

Colwood man takes on Ride to Conquer Cancer for 11th year in a row

Team Finn has raised almost $3 million for BC Cancer Foundation

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read