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Studio 58’s Jarred Stephen Meek takes on play and school

Theatre student produces an entire play from scratch while attending classes

Jarred Stephen Meek is writing, producing and starring in his play Josh and Carol: The Reunion. Photo: Allison Hayes
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Reported by Allison Hayes

It takes motivation and drive to produce a play solo, it takes even more when you’re still a student.

Studio 58 theatre student Jarred Stephen Meek is throwing himself into his own creative project on top of attending school as he stages his first independent play, Josh and Carol: The Reunion.

The 23 year-old Kelowna native is expanding his performing portfolio in theatre and drag, utilizes everything the college has to offer to help facilitate the complex process of producing an independent stage play. In general, it is rare for Studio 58 students to work on outside projects during the semester.

“It’s so helpful here because I can just write and have people give feedback,” Meek said. “That’s what I love about this and that’s why I’m doing it now, because I really want to be able to use all the resources that I have.”

Nothing fake about Meek’s dedication

Meek’s play follows Josh, who has done nothing with his life since high school, as he prepares to attend his high school’s ten-year reunion. Joined by his former girlfriend, Carol, they decide to try and fake it as a couple. The reunion only grows more disastrous, and comedic, as the play goes on.

Jessie Liang, a classmate and friend of Meek cast to play Carol, said it takes considerable dedication to produce and stage a play alone, in addition to the workload of school.

“I feel like a lot of our work is still contained into our school because we are still learning. It is quite unique that Jarred decided to do this. He’s one of the few people who has the drive and the courage to go forth with his ideas, it’s really fun for me to be a part of this,” Liang said.

Taylor Long, who plays the character of Chloe, a functioning alcoholic, said Meek has an outgoing personality which will take him far in the industry.

“Knowing as an actor, we can go out there and create our own work, [and not wait] for someone else to tell us that we’re hired,” said Long.

According to Meek, Josh and Carol: The Reunion will be performed in the summer of 2018, however the location has yet to be finalized.

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