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British Columbia Youth Host Original Musical by Award-Winning Playwright


The youth group of New Westminster (British Columbia) Christian Reformed Church hosted an evening of fine French food and musical theatre. The reviews are in, and it was a smash hit.

“The dinner theatre spoof of the popular ‘Glee’ TV series was a high-octane roller coaster ride of controlled chaos, sentimental excess, and heart-warming humanity,” raved attendee Eric Vanee. “Add in a spectacular six-course French meal prepared and served by a seemingly tireless crew of youth, parents, and grandparents and you get an evening that I will never forget.”

The play, “Friend Me,” was written by Lawrence Hayward, one of the youth group leaders and an award-winning screenplay writer. Hayward wrote the entire script in just one day. About 25 performers, including 20 youth, put in many hours of practice in the months leading up to the event.

Preparation of the meal was led by Ingrid Verseveldt and her daughter Emily, aided by a team of 20 other youth and young adults. With over 180 people in attendance, serving a delicious and hot meal was no small task.

The evening also featured babysitting services, a photo booth, and a specialty coffee bar.

This is the fifth time the youth have hosted such a dinner, but only the second time they have included the theatre portion. “The drama was such a hit—with the kids too—that we decided to keep it up,” explained youth leader Brittany Groen. With two weeks left to go, the event was already sold out and moved to the gym of the nearby Christian school to accommodate more guests.

This year’s dinner raised $8,500 for community development in El Coyolar, Honduras, where the church sends a mission team every year.

“It was such an incredible event,” said Groen. “Hopefully it can inspire others!”

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