In one night, everything that can go wrong does for poor Samuel T. Hastings, Mayor of Northfield, as he’s trying to impress his district's aging Member of Parliament by hosting a dinner party. He ends up having one steak for all 20 of his guests to share, and a live raccoon running around somewhere in the house! So how will Hastings manage to dig himself out of these problems and many others? Well, you'll find out in the theatre production of A Cheeky Chateaubriand and a Dead Raccoon.
Amazingly this play was written and directed by grade 12 Argyle Secondary students, Liam Lazenby and Samuel Fraser. The two students were inspired to write a play when Sam approached Liam at last year's 2011 Argyle Arts Awards, telling him there was a Script Writing Award. As soon as Liam confessed that he didn't know Argyle had such a thing, Sam said, “Next year it’s ours." With that statement, the journey began for the writing duo.
After coming up with a basic plot, Sam and Liam sat down together over the summer in hopes of completing their masterpiece.
“It took two to three months easily just to get the first draft finished,” recalls Sam. “The first draft was only 34 pages long but we flushed it out to about 45,” adds Liam. The boys were very dedicated to their work and after many rewrites and a few heavy edits, the final script was complete.
When asked why they decided to make a comedy, the boys burst out in laughter before Sam responded with, “For us it’s the only option. I don’t take anything seriously anymore, comedy was the only way."
After the fits of laughter subsided we continued to speak about the writing of the play and any complications they've had along the way to getting the play to the stage.
“Getting the OK from Mr. McKendy [the school’s drama teacher] was the biggest complication. It took four months before he actually approved the script,” Liam explains. “Another big one was the rehearsal schedule. We thought we would just start with after-school rehearsals, but [found out] the spring play was still going on with after-school rehearsals."
As you can imagine that didn’t work out too well, and the boys realized that lunchtime rehearsals would most likely be their best choice.
As opening night draws nearer, it's not just Sam and Liam who are excited about how everything has come together.
“What I really love about this play is that it’s written and directed by two best friends,” says cast member Julia Bilinski.
So why should people come check out the play?
“I think it’s funny and really well-written. It’s something people will enjoy watching and something I enjoy performing in,” says Emily Johnson, who’s playing Fiona (Samuel Hastings wife) in the play.
If you want to see what Sam Fazer, Liam Lazenby and other Argyle students in A Cheeky Chateaubriand and a Dead Raccoon make your way to James Buchanan Theatre located at Argyle Secondary (1131 Frederick Road, North Vancouver, B.C. V7K 1J3) on May 17th. Show starts at 7:30pm and tickets are $5.00.Login or register to post comments. All comments have to go through a queue for approval to keep the nasty stuff out, but we'll post yours as soon as we can.