Crusoe Adventure Opens Jan. 20th
Written by Ken Hildebrandt   
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 13:32
crusoe_publicity-4568_-_sm(Abbotsford, B.C.) Gallery 7 Theatre & Performing Arts is pleased to be presenting its second production of the 2011/2012 theatre season, Robinson Crusoe, a stage adaptation of Daniel Defoe's classic adventure written by Jim Helsinger.


Shipwrecked on a deserted island following a violent storm, explorer Robinson Crusoe experiences a crisis of faith and undergoes a spiritual and emotional transformation. His vision of the world shattered and his imperialist sense of entitlement dashed, Crusoe endures twenty-six years of complete isolation, surviving on the ship's supplies and his own ingenuity. When he befriends a Caribe Indian, Crusoe discovers the power of friendship and experiences the value of acceptance in spite of differences.


"We're pulling out all the stops for this production," explains Ken Hildebrandt, Gallery 7's Artistic Director. "We've stretched our technical abilities to create a visually stunning theatre experience, a compelling emotional and spiritual journey that features real humanity and generous sprinklings of humour."


Directing Robinson Crusoe is Carissa Boyton. Boynton directed last year's inspiring production of Tuesdays with Morrie, which went on to open Pacific Theatre's season this past September in Vancouver. "I wonder who we are when we are forced to be real with ourselves and give up the influences of our world around us. How do these influences stick to us after we are forced to give up that world? These themes resonated with me," she explains. "I wanted to explore how easily we fall back in to the same patterns of living we abandoned after finding them false."


Playing the title role in a tour-de-force performance is veteran performer, Andrew Abrahams. Well-known for his energetic and compelling performances, Abrahams has played such roles as C.S. Lewis in Shadowlands, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, and Captain Hook in Peter Pan.


Ben Wert, who first appeared in last year's production of Quiet in the Land, plays the Caribe native, Friday. This summer, Wert was busy performing from Coast to Coast and is thrilled to be back at Gallery 7 Theatre for this epic production. Jay Danziger rounds out the cast playing two distinctive ship captains, characters that book-end Crusoe's emotional and spiritual journey of survival. Danziger last appeared on the Gallery 7 stage as Christie Bauman in Quiet in the Land and is remembered for his performances in Twelve Angry Jurors, The Boys Next Door and Damien.


Set & lighting design is by Nicole Bach of New Westminster. Bach recently completed an MFA in Theatre Design, has numerous professional design credits to her name, and has won two Jessie Awards. Costume design is by Joyce Wan, sound design is by Eldon Letkeman and make-up design is by Sarah Wiget. Stage manager for this production is Janik Livera and the production photographer is Dianna Lewis of Creative Memory Studio.


Robinson Crusoe runs January 20 & 21, 26 – 28 & Feb 2 – 4 @ 7:30 PM with additional discounted matinees on Jan 21 & 28 @ 2:00 PM at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford. Tickets are $18.00 Adults; $16.00 Seniors (65+) & Students; $15 Groups (10 or more) and $10.00 for children 12 & under. Matinee performances are $13 General and $10.00 for children 12 & under. They can be purchased at the House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford or by calling 604-852-3701 or 1-800-665-8828. For complete details on this production and the rest of Gallery 7's 2011/2012 "Live. Breathe. Experience." season, please visit their website at

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