Yuriko Clark

Lambrick drama students take on edgy, real-life stories of street youth

Instead of putting on an elaborate production of Romeo and Juliet or Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, drama students at Lambrick Park are going for something with a little more edge.

Juve is a fact-based play that tells the real-life stories of teens, living on the streets of Vancouver, as they deal with issues such as prostitution, addiction and incarceration.

“Sometimes, as a principal you will be faced with decisions with regard to content that’s a bit scary,” said Lambrick principal Kevin Luchies. “But it’s provocative, and it’s meant to evoke a reaction. It’s meant to shake people up – wake them up to the fact that stuff’s happening, not all of it is good, and yet there’s a measure of humanity that comes through the script.”

The play was written in 1978 by Vancouver playwright Campbell Smith, who interviewed street youth in the city as a way to honestly tell their life stories. But Luchies, who himself was about the same age as those teens in the late 70s, told drama teacher Drew Kemp that for the play to have that resonance, it needs to be adapted for a more modern audience.

“Kevin was the one that picked it up and said, ‘This is really dated. Kids today could care less about running around in their hot rods … the kids wouldn’t say something like this,'” Kemp said. “He’s been very supportive of this, and the kids have taken ownership of the material because of that.”

Luchies says the student rewrote the material for their generation, but were able to maintain the integrity of the play’s message and overall objective of truth and education.

“It’s a fine line between being provocative and poking people with a stick. And waking people up and making them realize that the truth of what was being shared in 1978, with different language, different clothes, different cultural attributes, but is still the same,” he said. “It’s still the truth, from the perspective of this beautiful, safe enclave of Gordon Head and Lambrick Park – but, not so far from here, in inner-city schools, kids experience the same things as what was portrayed in 1978.”

Luchies says the message the play presents is one that’s already hitting home at Lambrick. The idea of social responsibility fills the classrooms and hallways, as hundreds of the school’s students participate in environmental and leadership endeavours.

“The most powerful thing I think they get through this play is looking after their brothers and sisters, as other humans. Always have a little bit extra for everyone else – that’s the spirit behind this play,” he said. “The students are basically communicating: ‘We realize children sleep in doorways in our city. They sell themselves. They have addictions. And in their quiet moments, it doesn’t go perfectly. Bu there’s always something we can do.'”

Juve opened Wednesday and runs through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., nightly, at Lambrick Park (4139 Torquay Dr.). Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for kids. They can be picked up at the school or by calling the office at 250-477-0181.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich’s 20-year-old acting mayor encourages other young people get involved in politics

There is a ‘hunger for young voices’ in politics right now

Designs for Johnson Street Bridge waterfront areas hit delays

Upgrades to the Songhees Park, surrounding area being presented Thursday

Personal health scare inspires Sidney’s newest gym

Arne Jackson said the scare was a ‘wake-up call’

VicPD catches impaired driver near elementary school

Citizens alerted police to driver near James Bay Community School

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

Most Read