Love Actually, Actually Live at Kits Secondary

Adapted for a Canadian audience, the Kitsilano Secondary Theatre Department recently completed a successful run of the first ever, live theatre version of "Love Actually".

The film "Love Actually" has become a modern holiday classic. As described on IMDB: "Love Actually" follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.

For Kitsilano Secondary theatre arts teacher Ryan Parker, the film offered a unique challenge and opportunity for his students.

"Over the years I watched as the film grew in popularity as a cult Christmas classic, which prompted me to examine it as a play," says Parker. "After reviewing the previous Kitsilano Secondary School production of "Grease", I thought we needed to focus on better transitions between scenes. "Love Actually" had over 70 scenes with 23 of them on film, so the challenge was perfect."

Kitsilano Secondary School has been home to the fine arts and drama/theatre program for decades. This program has established itself as one of the top theatre programs in the Lower Mainland with its Junior, Senior and Musical productions that are performed each year.

New to Kits Secondary, Parker says his inaugural project at the school pushed the students to explore new aspects of theatre and allowed them to take on greater leadership roles.

Love Actually"Once I met the students at Kitsilano and saw their passion for action and desire for a serious challenge, the movie fit perfectly with the talent. The students in the Directing 11 and Directing 12 classes were given one of the story-lines to re-create and even held auditions for their own roles. After that, the Directing 11 and 12 students set their after school and classroom rehearsal schedules, organized their props and set designs with the Stagecraft 11 and Stagecraft 12 students, while also learning how to direct the Acting 11 and Acting 12 students. They even chose a stage crew from the Drama 9 and 10 students," he says.

"Love Actually" has never been performed as a play, and Parker was thrilled to have support from screenwriter Richard Curtis to allow an adaptation of the film. 

"Once Richard Curtis heard of my plan and idea, he was on board with his support and his agency have been kept up to date with the progress and results," says Parker.

The only caveat Curtis and Universal/Working Title Films made about the production was that the school make a nominal donation to Comic Relief in lieu of royalties.

"This is just the beginning. With the talent that his here at Kitsilano now and upcoming from the junior levels, "Love Actually" actually proved that there isn't much out there that Kitsilano Theatre isn't capable of doing, and doing extremely well," says Parker.

For more information on the Kits Theatre Department, and their upcoming shows go to: www.kitsilanotheatre.com.

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