Chilliwack native, Krista Skwarok, will be playing a significant role in a Vancouver Fringe Festival theatre production next month.
The recent Studio 58 graduate will be playing Pepper Walker in Cry-Baby: The Musical, put on by Awkward Stage Production. Skwarok’s character is the head of The Teardrops, a “wrong-side-of-the-tracks” gang.
“[Pepper] is a 16-year-old, pregnant ‘drape’ — one of the bad kids. She’s sassy and free but enjoys playfully teasing the squares (the ‘good kids’),” says Skwarok.
The young, 24-year-old actress was born and raised in Chilliwack and was involved in theatre at Sardis secondary and Chilliwack School for Performing Arts. Skwarok graduated from Sardis in 2011 and moved to Edmonton to pursue musical theatre at Grant MacEwan University that fall. She auditioned for Studio 58 — a professional theatre training school located at Langara College — in the spring of 2014 and was accepted. She just graduated from the three-year program.
Cry-Baby: The Musical is described as Romeo and Juliet meets The Outsiders with everyone’s tongues planted firmly in cheek. It’s produced by Awkward Stage Productions, Vancouver’s only theatre company dedicated to bridging the gap between amateur and professional musical theatre for emerging artists as part of the Vancouver International Fringe Festival.
The play: It’s 1950s Baltimore, and the conservative squares face off against the leather-clad delinquents in this rockabilly musical based on John Waters’ cult film. Filled with unforgettable songs and a truly unique and fresh story, Cry-Baby, Allison and Baltimore’s juvenile delinquents will dance their way right into your heart.
“Awkward Stage is a great company to work for as a young artist. They really strive to create a space for people in between training or having just completed a program,” says Skwarok. “Everyone is passionate about putting on a good show and the level of talent in the room is exceptional.”
“They are also fundraising to give us each a decent honorarium which is great in Vancouver where a lot of times, especially in musical theatre, work goes unpaid. I appreciate the dedication of the company to its performers and designers,” she adds.
Cry-Baby: The Musical features a cast of 16 and runs Sept. 7-17 during the Vancouver Fringe Festival at the Firehall Arts Centre (280 E Cordova St.). Show dates/times: Sept. 7 at 6:45 p.m., Sept. 9 at 8:30 p.m., Sept. 10 at 1:45 p.m., Sept. 11 and 13 at 6 p.m., Sept. 16 at 3:15 p.m., and Sept. 17 at 2 and 7:15 p.m.
Tickets $14 and available at tickets.vancouverfringe.com.
For more info, go to vancouverfringe.com.