Alumni give blood for old school

Former students return to Maple Ridge Christian School stage

(From left) Daniel Robb as Edward Lyons

(From left) Daniel Robb as Edward Lyons

It’s not often that you get an opportunity to re-live high school, but for some former students of Maple Ridge Christian School, that chance has become reality.

Students from the school’s theatre arts program have decided that they would like to give back by producing the school’s first-ever all-alumni production.

“Most of us have fond memories of high school, and drama class was definitely the highlight for me,” says Aaron Evans, who graduated in 2005.

“We wanted to give back to the school,” adds Hillary Frew, from the class of 2004. “Alumni currently don’t have a very large role in the MRCS community and we hope that by running an all alumni play that we can change that.”

The alumni are staging Blood Brothers, a tragic musical by Willy Russell about the separation of twin brothers at birth and how fate brings them back together.

The play moves through the two boys lives as they grow up and eventually fall in love with the same girl.

“It’s definitely not your typical musical,” says Daniel Robb, who graduated in 2008. “It has some very dark themes in it. But it’s a show we hope the whole Maple Ridge community will enjoy.”

Blood Brothers deals with modern issues faced by teens and young adults, such as pregnancy, unemployment, and addiction.

“It’s not like anything the school has shown before, we’re definitely trying to push the envelope,” says Phil Robinson, who also graduated in 2008.

The cast includes a mixture of recent graduates, several university grads, veterans from the Maple Ridge Christian stage, as well as a few new faces.

“I’ve wanted to do an alumni production for a few years,” said drama teacher Reg Parks. “This year, we had the right group of people to commit to a show. It’s like a dream team from the decade I’ve been teaching and there are people here who were in my first show at the school and all the years since.”

It’s also quite a diverse cast: one actor is off to New Zealand to begin his masters in marine biology soon after the show closes; another is pursuing a career in acting; one has gone to school for baking and stage craft; one is a mother who is expecting her second child – they all have jobs and commitments, and have given up many hours of their time to make the show a reality.

“I could not possibly be more proud”, says Parks.