Chilliwack School of Performing Arts (CSOPA) students rehearse for their spring concert at the old Arts Centre on Tuesday afternoon. COSPA has a number of performances this weekend as part of its Spring Festival at its new location at 45899 Henderson Ave.

Young performers on UFV stage all weekend

Check out the diversity of talent on tap.

Chilliwack School of Performing Arts is ready to present its 2011 Spring Theatre Festival.

Check out the diversity of talent on tap.

Chilliwack School of Performing Arts is ready to present its 2011 Spring Theatre Festival.

More than 75 CSOPA students of musical theatre, dance and vocal arts will be on stage at University of the Fraser Valley Theatre from June 17-19.

Director Andrew Smith tells The Progress he conducted a fairly “exhaustive” search before deciding on two Canadian plays for the spring festival this year.

“We are always looking for plays that deal with teenage issues, anything from bullying, body image, sexuality and homosexuality.”

No Kidding by Myrna Kostash and Patrick MacDonald, and If You Really Love Me by Mark Leiren-Young fit the criteria. CSOPA’s Senior Performance Class will offer those plays, directed by Smith, which were also selected because they’re by Canadian playwrights.

“We feel that any issues that are worth talking about, are also worth investigating on the stage for audience members. It gives the actors a chance to ask questions and explore those topics as well.”

The spring festival was a success last year during its inaugural run, and they decided it would be a perfect vehicle for year-end performances.

This year they added shows from the Junior Jumpstart program, which is the precursor to Junior Musical Theatre, said Smith.

“It’s evolving into something terrific that showcases who we really are as CSOPA. This year’s festival is going to be great,” he enthused.

Some highlights of the CSOPA weekend include:

• Disney’s The Aristocats Kids by the Junior Musical Theatre Program, directed by Stefanie Fortin.

• Disney’s Aladdin Jr. by the Intermediate Musical Theatre Program, directed by Heather Redmond, Choreography by Shelley Wojcik & Musical Direction by Steffi Munshaw.

• Peggy the Pint-Sized Pirate – by the Junior Jumpstart Class, directed by Stefanie Fortin.

• Scenes & Monologues by the Advanced Acting Class, directed by Stephen Drover, MFA.

• Broadway/Contemporary Dance & Broadway/Jazz Vocals – directed by Shelley Wojcik & Lisa Scyner.

• No Kidding by Myrna Kostash / Patrick MacDonald & If You Really Love Me… by Mark Leiren-Young – presented by our Senior Performance Class, directed by Andrew Smith. These pieces contain some coarse language and mature subject matter and as such may not be suitable for everyone.

For a complete festival schedule and show times, or tickets, 604-792-9469, or via email at csopa.office@gmail.com. Tickets $5 or $10 per show.

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