Tiffany Markwart let it be known that she wanted to direct a Stage 43 Theatrical Society show.
A University of Saskatchewan theatre graduate, Markwart had previously been cast in three productions with the Coquitlam company.
So, last year, when organizers were looking for a female director for Calendar Girls, they called on Markwart to take the reins.
Next week, Stage 43 is scheduled to open the second presentation of its 40th season at the Evergreen Cultural Centre — a British comedy that tells of love, loss and an interesting way to raise money.
Based on the 2003 movie by Juliette Towhidi and Tim Firth, and starring Helen Mirren as Chris and Julie Walters as Annie, Calendar Girls is a true story about a group of middle-aged women from Yorkshire.
After the death of Annie's husband from leukaemia, the group bands to create a nude calendar to raise funds for leukaemia research.
Markwart told the Tri-City News she was drawn to the script because of the number of women in the ensemble "and because it has a lot of heart."
Cast in the show are the following Tri-City residents:
- Kate du Cros as Annie
- Lisa Pope as Celia
- Sue Davey as Jessie
- Ross Friesen as John
- Liam Coughlan as Rod
- September Stokes as Marie
- Sharon Notarrigo as Brenda Hulse
- Casey Por as Lawrence
Calendar Girls also features the acting talents of:
- Colleen Brown as Chris
- Lorene Stuart as Cora
- Corrine Out as Ruth
- Judy McLellan as Lady Cravenshire
- Dominic Renaud as Liam
- Kelsey Robertson as Elaine
Markwart called her version of Calendar Girls "family friendly," meaning there is "implied nudity."
"The charm and the comedy come from the strategic hiding of body parts using props and other items, so the audience never actually sees anything."
"Nobody has to worry about seeing something they don't want to see."
And Stage 43 made it a priority that the undressed female actors were comfortable on stage “and they had all the important pieces covered,” the Langley resident said.
Markwart said the play is appropriate for audience members ages 13 and older and it appeals to a wide demographic.
The comedy "is what everyone can use a little bit of right now: It's got that warmth and fun to it. And it's great to get out of the house after all the cold weather we’ve had over the holidays and be with other people while supporting live theatre."
Calendar Girls runs Jan. 12 to 14 at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. and Jan. 18 to 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Heads up! There's a special two-for-one pricing on Jan. 18 for single adult-priced tickets. Use the discount code CALENDAR.