In celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial, Peninsula Productions and the City of White Rock have partnered to present the world premiere of Sea Of Stories, a tribute to the seaside town located just south of Vancouver.
“White Rock is like a microcosm of every small town in Canada,” says director Wendy Bollard. “We wanted to do something special to commemorate Canada’s 150th … and capture the history of the town.”
With a book by Shawn Macdonald, and music from Dominik Heins, Sea of Stories is the musical tale of Anita and her 14-year-old son Jeffrey who move to White Rock.
Given an assignment at his new school to write a paper on a piece of White Rock history, the past comes alive as audiences are transported back to different points in the town’s history through story and song.
“This play is a celebration of how far we have come as a city, but also written with the goal of bringing us together regardless of our culture, age or circumstance,” says Bollard.
In her own research, Bollard says she was struck by the “can do” attitude of White Rock residents who have worked for the past 45 years to break away from Surrey.
“White Rock is a town rich with kindness and generosity of spirit much like every other small town in Canada, and people who have experienced small town living will relate to this piece,” she says.
Integrating White Rock’s rich Indigenous history, Semiahmoo First Nation artist and elder, Roxanne Charles, acted as a consultant to the playwright during the show’s creation.
“It was really important to me that the Semiahmoo First Nation was invited to be a part of the story in whatever way they felt comfortable,” says Bollard. “Roxanne has been a huge help. We have also hired First Nations actor Sam Bob who was instrumental in helping Shawn craft the story.”
Sea of Stories plays the Coast Capital Playhouse (1532 Johnston Rd, White Rock) from August 9-26. Visit https://peninsulaproductions.org for tickets and information.