Nolan Braun is Winston Smith and Erica Ford is Julia in the Thomas Haney Secondary School production of George Orwell’s 1984.

Big Brother is watching you

Thomas Haney secondary stages George Orwell’s 1984 in Maple Ridge

Thomas Haney secondary’s drama department journeys into a world of double-think and doublespeak on the heels of 40th provincial election with an adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984.

For drama teacher Shelley Evans, 1984 couldn’t be more prescient.

“There is nothing like an election to draw the public’s attention to the value of democracy and the terribly despotic forms of government that have, and still do exist in the world,” she says.

“It is a cathartic play that renews one’s appreciation for the rights and freedoms we have in Canada.”

1984 is a play adapted by Robert Owens, Wilton E. Hall Jr. and William A. MilesJr. from Orwell’s novel about misplaced government authority.

It follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of falsifying records and crafting political literature.

Smith grows disillusioned with his meagre existence and begins a rebellion against the system.

The Thomas Haney production is double-cast with a minimal set that magnifies a world where opinion cannot be expressed freely, where leaders are not held accountable for their deceptions, where censorship is mandated by government; where Ignorance is Strength, Freedom is Slavery and War is Peace.

It is ironic that when the novel came out,  surveillance cameras and Google Earth were unfathomable, says Evans.

The world of Oceania in Orwell’s 1984 seemed, at best, an exaggerated portrait of the former USSR.

“How prophetic Orwell proved to be,” Evans added.

This stage adaptation depicts the horrors of man’s fate in a society where Big Brother is always watching — where everything that is not prohibited is compulsory.

“Does the play ring true?,” asks Evan.

“Have any malware on your computer? How about identity theft? It is dangerous to become as complacent as we have and it is critical to learn from the mistakes of the past so we don’t unwittingly follow those same paths.

As Orwell himself said. “I do not believe that the kind of society I describe necessarily will arrive, but I believe that something resembling it could arrive. The moral to be drawn from the dangerous nightmare situation is a simple one: Don’t let it happen. It depends on you.”

• 1984 plays at Thomas Haney’s Sightlines Theatre, 23000 116th Avenue in Maple Ridge at 1 p.m. on May 22 and May 30 and 7 p.m. on May 23, 24, 29 and 31. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and students. To reserve, call 604-463-2001.

Just Posted

Mad Hatter’s High Tea for mental health in Maple Ridge

The second annual Mad Hatter’s Parade and Tea Party will take place May 26

Birds of a feather coming together for Maple Ridge art gallery

The ACT Art Gallery’s annual fundraiser TeaGarden! takes place May 27

Face pies for $5, all for a good cause

Managers at Save-On-Foods, ValleyFair Mall location have volunteered their faces as targets to raise money for B.C. Children’s Hospital

Untrending: Restoring on social’s promise

‘Each interaction, online or offline, is a choice.’

Court injunction clears Maple Ridge protest camp

Tents, chairs gone from site proposed for modular housing

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

‘Concussion is at the forefront of our thinking’: Rodeo doctor

As in any other contact sport, concussion prevention and treatment efforts continue to evolve

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

Police investigate sexual assault in Fraser Valley

Man grabs woman by shoulders and makes sexual comments

Most Read