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.

Just Posted

Sunset Cinema brings free family film under the stars in Colwood

Sunset Cinema hosts events on the Island from July 23 to 27

Saanich farm hosts birthday party as wetland turns 10

The Urban Biodiversity Enhancement and Restoration Project invites community to 10th birthday for wetland

Last remaining Victoria Legion faces $100,000 property tax bill

The Trafalgar/ Pro Patria Branch can’t afford to operate with such high taxes

International migration drives population rise in B.C.

No joke, provincial population topped 5 million by April 1

UPDATED: Langford liquor store targeted by thieves twice in one night

West Shore RCMP identified break and enter suspect

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth, sets Canadian space record

Native of Saint-Lambert, Que., set a record for longest single spaceflight by a Canadian at 204 days

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from Vancouver furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Poll: Rising gas prices force B.C. residents rethink summer road trips

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

PHOTO: Moose cow and calf relax in Williams Lake flower garden

The homeowners got a surprise when they checked their most recent surveillance footage

Two in hospital after plane crashes in Okanagan Lake

RCMP say wheels left down caused landing plane to overturn on lake

The world’s Indigenous speakers gather in B.C.’s capital to revitalize languages

Organizers estimate about 1,000 delegates from 20 countries will be at the conference

Join talks on international treaty: B.C. First Nations mark ‘historic moment’

Representatives of the Ktunaxa, Syilx/Okanagan and Secwepemc Nations participated

Companies need clearer rules on workplace relationships, study suggests

One-third of Canadians have been in love at work, and half say no policy on the matter exists

Most Read