Forte Theatre returns for Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village

Forte Theatre Society is returning to Burnaby Village Museum for the holidays.

Forte is presenting its seventh production, A Home for Jo-Jo, as part of the village’s Heritage Christmas Celebrations. It’s on at Brookfield Hall on Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 23 to Dec. 15, with shows at 3, 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

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The play tells the story of a lonely child who really wants a puppy, and Jo-Jo, who on Christmas Eve is still looking for her forever home. It touches on timeless and all-encompassing themes: acceptance, friendship, family, reconciliation and unconditional love.

It features two Marlborough Elementary School students, Adora Chen as Jo-Jo and Mengbai Li as Eliza.

Adora has taken drama classes at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and a Young Movie Makers camp at Simon Fraser University. She’s returning for her second year. Mengbai, a keen chess player who likes to read, model and dance, is in the cast for her first Forte show.

The play also features Emma Jackson, with multiple roles including that of the narrator. She grew up in England and has been involved in theatre and dance since childhood.

They’re joined by Rissa Weitzel, in multiple roles including the Christmas angel, who recently moved to Vancouver from Saskatchewan.

A Home For Jo-Jo is directed by Burnaby’s Nancy von Euw, a multi-award-winning actor, director, coach and voiceover artist who can be heard globally on NHK (Japan’s public broadcaster) as the narrator for Lunch ON!, a weekly lifestyle show.

The creative team includes Burnaby residents Lisa Coldwells, Craig Premack and Cole Sheehan-Klassen, a Grade 11 student at Burnaby South Secondary, plus New West residents Suzanne Biehl and Gillies Malnarich.

All shows are free, and you don’t need to book ahead.

For more, search for Forte Theatre Society on Facebook or follow them on Instagram @fortetheatresociety.

For more on Burnaby Village Museum’s Heritage Christmas happenings, see


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