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The pursuit of individualism turns fanatical in Douglas College’s production of Jekyll March 13-20

The fanatic pursuit of self-love and individualism have dire consequences in Jekyll.

Presented by the departments of Theatre and Stagecraft & Event Technology, Jekyll is a modern and female-oriented re-imagining of the gothic novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, written by Hal Coase.

Hyde is a famous motivational speaker, encouraging people to take control of their lives and advocating independence, confidence, personal wellbeing and owning your identity. But when she fails to clearly define these ideals and how to achieve them without disregarding the needs of others, she leaves interpretation open to extremism. Jekyll – young, lonely, purpose-less and obsessed with her idol, Hyde – joins other desperate followers in their fanaticism with tragic result.

The play modernizes ideas from the original story in both language and format that is relevant and easily digestible by young actors and contemporary audiences alike. The struggle between the good doctor Jekyll and the monster Hyde are re-imagined as a struggle to achieve balance between meeting the needs and expectations of one’s community without sacrificing one’s own personal needs and identity.

“Individualism can be a positive, beautiful thing, but it can also be isolating if taken too far. You cut yourself off from your community when you focus solely on yourself; you risk ignoring others to the point of selfishness,” said Madelyn Osborne, director.

Osborne connects the messaging in the play to many current divisive issues, such as the pipeline debate locally, and LGBTQ rights and abortion laws in the United States.

“Hyde’s messaging is ‘be who you are; take control of your own life.’ But she doesn’t explain this. If you take control of your life, does this mean you’re also controlling others within your life? It has the potential for extremist and harmful interpretation,” said Osborne.

The student cast includes Racheal Dimaggio (Surrey), Saxony Eccleston (New Westminster), Holly Newberry (Delta), Hope Scouten (Vancouver), Lauren Supinski (Calgary), Dominique Timofte (Delta), Lois Warwick (Surrey). The cast is joined by professional actor Douglas Ennenberg (East Vancouver).

Performances run March 13-20 in the Studio Theatre at Douglas College’s New Westminster Campus, 700 Royal Ave. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for seniors, students, matinees and Talkback Tuesdays. For tickets and show times, visit jekyll.bpt.me.

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Contact

Melissa Nilan
Communications Coordinator
mnilan@dougascollege.ca
604 527 5547