Charlene Crawford (left) plays Lotty and Laura Kehler plays Rose in Gallery 7 Theatre’s production of Enchanted April by Matthew Barber. Photo by Dianna Lewis Photography.

Gallery 7 Theatre presents Enchanted April

Production opens May 19 at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in Abbotsford

Gallery 7 Theatre presents its production of the play Enchanted April, starting May 19.

Set in 1922, two frustrated English housewives decide to rent a villa in Italy to escape their bleak, predictable lives and recruit two very different English women to share in the cost and experience.

Among the wisteria blossoms and gorgeous Mediterranean sunshine, all four begin to re-discover themselves in ways they didn’t expect, and gain new perspective on what’s most important in their lives.

Directing for the first time at Gallery 7 Theatre with this production is Kate Muchmore Woo, theatre professor at Trinity Western University.

“The themes which resonate with me most in the show are healing and transformation,” Woo said. “After WWI, there was a real sense of loss across Europe. These losses, direct and indirect, threaten to steal the hope of many of the characters in the play. Going to Italy offers everyone a chance for healing, for transformation, and for their lives to be filled again with enchantment, paradise, and wonder.”

Playing the role of Lotty Wilson, the driving force behind planning the Italian adventure, is Charlene Crawford while Rose Arnott, a proper English housewife with strong morals but who secretly longs for adventure, will be played by newcomer Laura Kehler.

Caroline Bramble, a sophisticated socialite looking for change in her life, will be played by Shannon Tauber, while the crotchety Mrs. Graves will be played by Sue Backs.

Mellersh, Lotty’s somewhat stuffy solicitor husband, will be played by Scott Campbell while Tamara Charman takes on the role of Costanza, an Italian housekeeper with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. Marco Darvasi will play Wilding, the charming owner of the Italian villa, and Mark Kroeker will play Rose’s man-about-town husband, Frederick.

Enchanted April runs May 19, 20 and 24-27 at 7:30 p.m. at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium (32315 South Fraser Way). Matinees take place at 2 p.m. on May 20 and 27.Tickets are available at House of James (2743 James St.), online at gallery7theatre.com or by calling 604-852-3701.