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This new North Van-inspired play will ‘drive’ you crazy

Driving Me Crazy stars veteran North Shore actor Nicola Cavendish and runs June 8-19 at Presentation House Theatre

If you’ve lived on the North Shore, you’ve probably spent more than enough time in a vehicle.

Driving Me Crazy, a new play coming to Presentation House Theatre this month, follows a North Vancouver family as they navigate their conflicting views on cars.

The play features Liz (Nicola Cavendish), a grandmother fighting to keep her driver’s licence, her independence, and her voice in society.

Liz is surrounded by her family: a son and daughter-in-law addicted to their cars, an environmentalist granddaughter against gas-guzzling vehicles, and a grandson set to learn hard lessons about drinking and driving.

Katherine Alpen, who plays granddaughter Sylvie, calls Driving and ode to what growing up on the North Shore feels like.

“Anyone who lived in North Van – Lynn Valley, Lonsdale – will be able to relate to the family dynamic, as well as there's lots of shout outs in the show to different [local] hotspots,” she said.

Alpen, a Capilano University grad who grew up in Lynn Valley, was recently nominated for a 2022 Leo Award for Lead in a Feature.

The dynamics in the play are so relatable that Alpen said she sometimes feels like she’s living in it off stage. 

“I'll be in the car with my mom, and I'll think: ‘Oh my god, I'm in a scene from this play.’”

But overall, it’s less about butting bumpers and more about inter-generational love, about growing up and maturing together. According to Alpen, there are also lots of laughs to be had.

“Nicola Cavendish plays my grandmother,” she said. “We had rehearsal yesterday, and we were in stitches. She's a laugh-a-second. She's hilarious.”

Driving opens on June 8 and runs to June 19. Alpen said a ticket would make a great Father’s Day gift, which falls on closing night.

Driving Me Crazy

Where: Presentation House Theatre. 333 Chesterfield Ave., North Vancouver

When: June 8 (preview) to June 19 at 7:30 p.m. with Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m. matinees.

Tickets: $20-$30 or choose your own price. Call 604-990-3474 or visit the Presentation House website.


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