Burnaby playwright's work opens Vagabond season

A Burnaby playwright’s new work takes to the stage next month as the season opening production for the Vagabond Players.

Body and Soul, by Elizabeth Elwood, runs from Oct. 6 to 29 at the Bernie Legge Theatre in Queen’s Park, New Westminster.

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The play, described as “a romantic comedy full of whimsical fun and a lively ghost,” tells a uniquely New Westminster-based story, with the storyline taking place in a heritage home in Queen’s Park. It follows the tale of Timothy Grey, who quits his job to write a book about one of the Royal City’s forefathers.

His friend, Conrad, finds an unorthodox way to ensure that the historic details are correct: With the help of a psychic seamstress, he restores the resident ghost and “sets off a chain of events that turns history upside down,” as a press release says.

Elwood also directs the production, which is her fourth play to premiere at the Bernie Legge Theatre. A former Burnaby English and drama teacher, chorus singer with the Vancouver Opera and performer with community theatre, Elwood turned to writing when her children were young.

She and her husband, Hugh, formed the family entertainment company Elwoodettes Marionettes, and she later began writing for the stage. Her first play, Casting For Murder, premiered with the Vagabond Players in 2000 and has since had seven productions across Canada.

Elwood followed that up with the comedy Renovations, the mystery play Shadow of Murder and four books of mystery stories.

This premiere production of Body and Soul features cast members Alex Ross as the struggling writer, Heather Evens as his disapproving fiancée and Tracy Labrosse as the librarian “who has a lot more going for her than a knowledge of musty old books,” according to a synopsis.

Jeremy Heynen is Conrad and Alison Main-Tourneur appears as Tibby, the psychic. Together, they restore the ghost of Mary Fairfax, played by Jacqollyne Keathe.

Rounding out the cast are Robert Bowes as the cranky landlord and Rob Larsen as Ernie, the pizza delivery man.

Body and Soul is onstage Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $17, or $15 for seniors and youth, with $12 previews on Oct. 6 and 7.

You can buy tickets online at www.vagabondplayers.ca/tickets or call 604-521-0412.

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