Trinity Western University

2010 News

Warm-hearted comedy offers winsome winter escape

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A holiday in peace and quiet was all Charlie had in mind when he turned up at a small-town fishing lodge posing as an “exotic” visitor. He never dreamed that pretending not to understand English would turn him into the locals’ most trusted confidante. Suddenly saddled with secrets, scandals, and sinister plots, the hapless “foreigner” finds himself in a race against time to save the town from its nasty secrets…without betraying his own. 

Larry Shue’s wildly popular farce, The Foreigner, plays November 23 to December 4 at Trinity Western University. From love triangles to remote-detonated explosives, the foreigner’s high-jinks in the heart of the Deep South should make for an entertaining night at the theatre. 

Cody Friesen, a bright talent in his first year of a Theatre and Education degree, is loving his role as a sweet-hearted meathead who befriends the foreigner with his clumsy antics. “I’m getting in touch with the redneck inside,” laughs Cody. “Ellard is such a character – he really is easy to love. He takes the foreigner under his wing – explaining, for example, thatwhen ‘fork’ is pronounced by proper Southern folks, it’s a 2-syllable word. But really, the foreigner is teaching Ellard how to believe in himself. He’s proof that when someone gives you a chance to do something amazing, you can surprise everybody. I love that.” 

For director Lloyd Arnett, one of the most enchanting parts of the story is its dramatic irony. “The audience is in on a secret that only the foreigner knows,” he explains. “Everybody onstage is fooled, and we’re along for the ride watching the whole situation get funnier and more confusing by the minute.” 

The Foreigner offers more than just laughter – it’s also providing a vehicle for mentoring new artistic talent at TWU. Under the direction of Dr. Arnett, SAMC Theatre’s second production of the season will feature the work of both professional and student designers, and performances by senior Theatre students alongside promising newcomers. 

“In a story about community, and people from different worlds coming together to bring out the best in each other, we’re very proud to see our cast doing exactly that,” remarks Arnett. “We have an actress from Alabama helping the others perfect their accents, first year students getting the chance to learn from those who are graduating; and the result is theatre magic.” 

“You can’t help loving the crazy characters in this town,” Cody agrees. “As ridiculous as they are, they’re familiar enough that you can see yourself in them. There’s a lot of humour, but a lot of heart as well.” 

Starring Brandon Bate, Alicia Cerny, Cody Friesen, Gwendolen Groen, Ian Hengeveld, Luke Hull, and David Shoffner. Stage managed by Stephanie Priolo, Rachel Bell, and Brittany Gainer. The set is designed by Jay Havens with costumes by Tracy Wright and lighting by Crystal Dodding. 

Performances are Tuesday through Saturday from November 23 to December 4. For more information and tickets, visit or email

  • Last Updated on November 15th, 2010 at 11:58am
  • Author: Diane Squires
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