Founding the new Cast and Crew Theatre Arts Acacemy in Maple Ridge

A new non-profit group forming in Maple Ridge this September hopes to give children opportunities to explore theatre arts.

A new non-profit group forming in Maple Ridge this September hopes to give children opportunities to explore theatre arts.

“We have grown from a desire to provide children and teens in the Lower Mainland an opportunity to engage in theatre and the fine arts,” said founder Madelaine Beckett.

She said the decision to start Cast and Crew Theatre Arts Acacemy was prompted in part by the fact that 46 per cent of the respondents to a school board survey asked for the development of a fine arts academy.

The group was formed this summer, by program coordinators Heather Beckett and Shelley Boe, who are longtime theatre moms. They bring their combined experiences of costuming, set dressing and theatre administration, having worked on a total of over 30 theatrical productions with local community groups, including Xtreme Theatre, Emerald Pig, SPECCtacular Productions, Theatre in the Country, and Maple Ridge Christian School drama department.

Their belief in the value of enabling youth to confidently step into any role in theatre production has influenced how classes are structured. All students are given time working in each area of theatre, on stage and behind the scenes.

Through the year, students will receive training in vocal, dance and acting as they prepare a full musical production while developing general techniques to build strong foundational skills, said Beckett.

Experienced teachers will also lead students in discovering the production side of theatre. Students will have opportunity to learn about and help to create costumes, props, sets, apply hair and makeup, and perform technical jobs such as sound and lights.

With Cast and Crew, students will be challenged to produce theatre pieces from start to finish, said Beckett.

Riley Dougan, an alumni of Xtreme Theatre and student at Dance Barn Studios, is excited to join the Cast and Crew Theatre Arts Academy team as its  first instructor.

Cast and Crew Theatre Arts Academy is located at North Fraser Centre, a re-purposed elementary school in Whonnock. The group offers multiple rehearsal rooms, auditorium seating for up to 130 patrons, traditional Shakespearean thrust stage design, combined lunch and quiet study area with tables and chairs that parents and siblings can use while classes are in session, and free parking.

• For information and to register, visit the


Just Posted

Flames drop to eighth in PJHL

Ridge loses two games over the weekend

Man known to frequent Maple Ridge wanted by Langley RCMP

An arrest warrant is out for Bryce Telford for allegedly impersonating a police officer

New Maple Ridge council has old problem: Albion flats

Staff asking for politicians to decide direction

Thomas Haney team builds tiny house

Students spend two years building tiny house during shop class

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Richmond businesses struggle to hire and keep staff because of high cost of housing

Chamber of commerce calls for diverse housing options, redevelopment of George Massey corridor

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

Instagram celebrity pays for B.C. woman’s boob job

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Man pulls over to help injured owl, gets hit by SUV

Chase RCMP say owl flew away while they were on scene

New food guide addresses ‘elephant’ in the room – alcohol

Experts welcomed the tougher stance on an issue they say demands a co-ordinated strategy

Cannabis sales up 25% in November as overall retail sales fall 0.9%

Cannabis store sales totalled $54 million in the first full month of legal recreational pot sales

Most Read