Feeling the human sorrow as the lives of Leonardo da Vinci and his loving mother Caterina unfolded on stage was all the motivation needed to entice young Langley actor Kyle Wipp to audition for Vinci.
Vagabond Players is presenting Western Canada’s premiere of Vinci, starting tonight and carrying through until April 23 at the Bernie Legge Theatre in New Westminster. And the 23-year-old Langley Secondary graduate will be front and centre in this production, taking on the role of Leonardo da Vinci’s younger brother, Francesco.
“The first time we read through, I laughed at the small jokes littered within the litany of lines, but almost bawled my eyes out at the end for the pure emotion that the situation elicits,” Wipp told the Langley Advance.
“When this show was brought to my attention, I was blown away by its depth,” he added, noting the entire experience has made a lasting impression on him.
“Vinci is an absolutely breathtaking script,” he said.
He and the rest of the cast and crew have been rehearsing three times a week since mid-February in preparation for the curtain to go up tonight (Thursday, March 30).
And Wipp said he’s been inspired to work harder than he’s ever worked as an actor, in preparing for this show – not just because of the moving script.
“The work ethic I am surrounded by… it is absolutely amazing the amount of time my fellow cast mates and the crew have offered to this project,” he elaborated.
He first caught the acting bug back in high school, when he joined the musical theatre program at LSS.
“I absolutely loved it,” said the Willowbrook actor.
Despite a career misfire, when he segued into tech for a time at university, his passion for acting, singing, and dancing eventually propelled him into the musical theatre program at Capilano University.
“Being on the actual stage will always be where my heart resides,” Wipp said.
He subsequently took on roles in Godspell, Cabaret, and Treasure Island at the post-secondary school. And, while he hasn’t, yet, been involved with any other community theatre groups, Wipp debuted on the Vagabond stage a few years back in Twelfth Night, later played Lysander in their rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and now in Vinci.
It’s a play written by Maureen Hunter, portraying passion, possession, and sacrifice in the colourful world of the Italian Renaissance.
On top of all the other reasons why Wipp said he is charged to be part of this production, he added “the stunning performance that the cast brings and the visual effects that you won’t soon forget… I am proud to be part of the western premiere of this show.”
Vinci runs through April 23, Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at www.vagabondplayers.ca/tickets or by calling 604-521-0412.