British Columbia

New Vancouver theatre company creates space for millennial actors

A new Vancouver theatre company is making its debut this weekend.

Midtwenties Theatre Society's debut production of Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth begins this weekend

Kenneth Lonergan's 1996 screenplay will be performed by the new Vancouver company, Midtwenties Theatre Society (Midtwenties Theatre Society/Facebook)

A new Vancouver theatre company is making its debut this weekend.

The Midtwenties Theatre Society's production of This is Our Youth is a play by screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan, who won an Oscar for the film Manchester by the Sea. 

The show follows the stories of three privileged youth in Reagan-era New York.

It premiered off-Broadway in 1996, which is around the same time its current crew was born, but the themes of the play were immediately relatable for director Beau Han Bridge.

"It's so relevant to now, even though it was written for the 80s," Bridge said to CBC Early Edition host Stephen Quinn.

"In a general sense, it's about three very unhappy, angry kids who find themselves in a world which they don't feel like they belong ... they have to deal with these issues ... that range from parent issues, money issues, societal issues, philosophy, where we're at, what we should do in the future and inevitably death itself."

The production's history has featured stars like Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, and Anna Paquin.

Finding a place to fit

Bridge says the play helps set a foundation for the new company, opening the stage for youth to enter the industry with relatable content for millennials, which can be a difficult niche to find as a young actor.

"You're not necessarily established, but you're not emerging either, so you find yourself in this space where ... you can't fit yourself anywhere," he said.

"If you don't try to find a specific place to fit yourself in, you inevitably don't have an opportunity to show who you are and express yourself."

Beau Han Bridge is the founder of the new theatre company and director of its upcoming production 'This Is Our Youth'. (CBC)

Bridge says he chose the play in the hope Lonergan's credit would help attract a wider audience.

The company will be producing original works in the future, the first of which is one of Bridge's own screenplays, focusing on similar themes.

This Is Our Youth will be performed on the Red Gate Revue Stage at Granville Island and runs from July 15 until the 23rd.

Listen to media below to hear the full interview:

With files from the CBC's The Early Edition