The Book of Will
Date: April 20, 2023 - April 30, 2023
Time: April 23 and 30 @2:00 pm : April 20-22 & 27-29 @ 7:30 pm 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Location: The Chilliwack Cultural Centre
9201 Corbould St., Chilliwack BC
Price: Adults: $25.00
Students and Seniors: $20.00

By Lauren Gunderson
Director: Clint Hames
Producer: Laura Hames
by permission of Dramatists Play Services

Click here for the show's program.

The Chilliwack Players Guild is pleased to announce their Spring 2023 production, “The Book of Will” by Lauren Gunderson. The Book of Will is a celebration of the famed playwright’s brilliant works of theatre and poetry. It is an historical look at the years following Shakespeare’s death and the true story of how his acting troupe, The King’s Men, following the tragic death of one of their members, realizes it is up to them to preserve his plays for future generations and to protect them from the horrible reproductions proliferating at the time. In 1623, Shakespeare’s “First Folio” was published. This play is the story of how that famous book came to be. The production is being Directed by Clint Hames, who has directed many successful shows for the Guild, most recently “Calendar Girls” which played to sold out audiences last spring. “The Book of Will is a wonderful, warm, witty and funny play that will have you alternate between tears of laughter and sorrow”, says Hames. The play will appeal well beyond Shakespeare lovers and is written in modern language. Of interest, the Book of Will or more correctly, Shakespeare’s “First Folio”, was recently displayed at the Vancouver Art Gallery as a part of a world tour.

About The PlayCast Photos and BiosCreative TeamProduction TeamProgramBehind- the-Scenes PhotosPerformance PhotosAwards

Without William Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have literary masterpieces like Romeo and Juliet. But without Henry Condell and John Heminges, we would have lost half of Shakespeare’s plays forever! After the death of their friend and mentor, the two actors are determined to compile the First Folio and preserve the words that shaped their lives. They’ll just have to borrow, beg, and band together to get it done. Amidst the noise and color of Elizabethan London, The Book of Will finds an unforgettable true story of love, loss, and laughter, and sheds new light on a man you may think you know.

Rebecca HemingesJanet Carroll
Elizabeth CondellKaty Lowe
John HemingesGraham Archer
Henry CondellAndy Rolleman
Alice HemingesKrysandra Wilson
Ralph CraneRaymond Hatton
Richard BurbageSteve Saunders
William JaggardKen Fynn
Isaac JaggardZach Loescher
Ben JohnsonDoug Wickers
Anne Hathaway/BarTrisha Knight-Good
Ed Knight/Dearing/Bar 1/MarcellusGlenn Howard
Boy Hamlet/Susanna Shakespeare/Bar/HoratioMargaret Kolstad
Emilia Lanier/BarMary Ellen Shimell
Crier/Fruit SellerAvah Wilson
Bar 2/Francisco/CompositorDon Romanik
Marcus/Bernardo/BarLenny Fisher


Graham has been a member of the CPG since 1979, (he started when he was very, very young) and has served in various capacities over the years. He started with building sets and working on the stage crew with “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1980 and came almost full circle in 2012 when he played Tevye in the Guild’s remount. He has acted, directed, stage managed, designed and build sets and props. He has served on the Guild executive with several terms as President. Some past favourite acting experiences include “The Elephant Man”, “Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, “The Gin Game” and multiple British Nights. Most recently he directed the Guild’s fall 2022 production “The Outsider”.


A long-time member of the Chilliwack Players Guild, Janet has recently returned to acting after directing for many years. She directed “A Flea in Her Ear” and co-directed “A Christmas Carol” for the CPG and audiences may recognize her as Chris from the crowd-pleasing production of “Calendar Girls”. Janet presently serves as president on the board of the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. When not acting or directing, Janet enjoys dabbling in the visual arts, writing, and travelling.


This is Lenny’s first experience on stage. Like so many of us, “Covid” was a chance to explore new, creative things like music and theatre, and the Chilliwack Players Guild is happy to be the beneficiary of so many new explorers like Lenny. A bricklayer by trade, it has been an easy transition for him to play the irascible printer, Marcus – an equally demanding trade. He also plays a few minor characters, which help tell this amazing story. He says it has been a wonderful experience and hopes his friends and neighbours will all come and see the show.


Ken would like to thank Clint for casting him in this little gem of a role. How fun to play this character amongst many other talented friends. Ken was last seen in the staged radio play “Mystery in Pimlico” and some may remember him as Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”. Ken had the pleasure to direct “Murder on the Nile” a couple of seasons back. He has appeared in many productions in the lower mainland over the past 27 years and the thrill is still there for every production he has worked on. He would like to thank all those involved in this production and sincerely hopes you all enjoy the show today.


Raymond is excited to be part of this wonderful production. He has been fortunate to be cast in several of Shakespeare’s plays over the years and is now part of the story of the saving of his plays. Raymond most recently performed in “The Outsider” and the radio play “Mystery at Pimlico”. Other favourite roles include Dr. Chumley in ‘Harvey’ and CJ McDonald in “The Good Game.” Raymond has also directed several shows for Langley Little Theatre over the years and is very excited to be directing the Guild’s upcoming fall play “The Glitter Girls”. He would like to say thank you to the incredible cast and crew for bringing this production to life.


Glenn has entertained you aboard the Lotus in the Chilliwack Players Guild production of “Murder on the Nile”. He gave life to Mr. Van Daan in “The Diary of Anne Frank” and portrayed the dancing fool of Fezziwig in “A Christmas Carol”. Most recently he was seen as the photographer, Lawrence, in “Calendar Girls”. Glenn is excited to be part of “The Book of Will” and is grateful to all the cast and crew.


It has been a lifelong dream of Trisha’s to be an actress. She feels fortunate to have been involved in some challenging and enjoyable CPG productions such as “The Diary of Anne Frank”, “A Christmas Carol”, “British Pub Nights-Pirate Radio” and the staged radio play “A Pearl in the Hand”. While she waited for her next opportunity to be onstage, she volunteered backstage as Asst. Stage Manager, Lighting and Sound and Video Technician. She feels honoured to be a part of this fabulous cast and to be portraying Anne Hathaway Shakespeare.


Margaret has been passionate about theatre for many years, her first big show being the Players Guild 2019 production of “A Christmas Carol”. Since then she has enjoyed participating in their playwriting and improv workshops, and in the studio and stage tellings of “A Mystery in Pimlico”. The foundations of her life are Jesus, books, cats and thrift stores, with a developing interest in Shakespeare (for some reason). She is thrilled to be a part of this amazing cast and story, and hopes you enjoy experiencing the power of story through the magic of theatre.


Zach has always had a passion for theatre and acting. Graduating in 2020 from G.W. Graham, he received the Honoured Acting award and spent most of his days in the theatre. Zach has been doing plays for the CPG from his early teens into his adult life. Recent performances have been Peter Van-Daan in “The Diary of Anne Frank” and young adult Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”. Zach hopes to continue his onstage acting and get training for film acting in the future. He sincerely hopes you enjoy this show that Clint Hames has carefully crafted.


Katy feels privileged to be performing with her talented friends, in one of her favourite plays! Katy is a long time member of the Chilliwack Players Guild and has performed in various staged radio plays, most recently “Mystery in Pimlico”. You may also remember her as Annie in “Calendar Girls” and Fonsia in “The Gin Game”, both with the CPG. She has also performed with Off Topic Theatre Society as Butterball in “Chickens, the Musical” and with the UFV Theatre Department as Gertrude in “Hamlet”. She hopes you enjoy the show (she knows she will!).


Andy has been very fortunate to have performed in a number of Chilliwack Players Guild production including various British Pub Nights, “A Flea in Her Ear”, “Calendar Girls”, and most recently, “The Outsider”. He considers his role in “The Book of Will” as a way to pay homage to the great playwright himself, William Shakespeare, and thanks you, the audience, for coming to watch this beautiful love story.


Don decided to come out of his comfort zone a few years ago to fulfill a past dream of being involved with theatre. He took part in a CPG Actors Workshop and found it to be thrilling! Since then, he feels fortunate to have had parts in British Nights, the Chill TV murder mystery “Crimson Snow” and the recent staged radio play “Mystery in Pimlico”. He is very happy to be in “The Book of Will” and encourages anyone who has ever considered being involved with local theatre to check the Guild’s website ( for more information, He says becoming part of the close knit CPG family is easier than you may think!


Steve has been an enthusiastic volunteer with the Chilliwack Players Guild, the Chilliwack Cultural Centre and Chilliwack Community Services for many years. He has performed in a number of Guild productions since 2017 and is honoured to be included in “The Book of Will”. Some of his past roles with the CPG have been Rugby in “A Flea in Her Ear”, Captain McNaught/Bead seller in “Murder on the Nile”, Jacob Marley in “A Christmas Carol”, and Rod in “Calendar Girls”, and he has been involved in various staged radio plays. Steve would like to thank Clint for all his support and says he has really loved working with this fun, talented cast and crew. He hopes you all enjoy watching the play as much as he has being a part of it!


Mary Ellen is very excited to be part of this amazing Chilliwack Players Guild production. She has been involved with community theatre for years (and years) throughout B.C. and Alberta, most recently with groups in the lower mainland. Favourite roles include Mrs. Borden in “Blood Relations”, Mary in “Of the Fields Lately” and Mumma Joe/Johnnie Patrick in “Port Moody Confidential-Glimpses”. When not on stage, Mary Ellen enjoys baking, cycling, kayaking,reading and travelling. Mary Ellen would like to thank everyone involved with this show, her first with the Guild but hopefully not her last!


Doug joined the Chilliwack Players Guild in 1979 to audition and then perform in 1980’s “Fiddler on the Roof” (also directed by Clint Hames). He feels privileged to have portrayed many memorable roles in subsequent Guild productions and make life-long friends. He also performed with the UFV Theatre Dept. for many years. Music has been a passion since early childhood, both as a solo vocalist and chorister. Doug is delighted to return to ‘the boards’ to present the wonderful character of Ben Jonson with this talented cast and crew.


Avah is extremely excited to be participating in “The Book of Will”. This is Avah’s third time taking part in a Chilliwack Players Guild production; her most recent play being “A Christmas Carol”. Avah hopes to make this role a funny one for everyone to enjoy. She would like to thank the wonderful cast and awesome director and crew for bringing this play to life. Enjoy the show!


As an avid Shakespeare fan, Krysandra is thrilled and honoured to take the stage as Alice Heminges in “The Book of Will”. Krysandra has been in involved in multiple CPG productions over the years including various British Pub Nights, “Murder on the Nile”, “Calendar Girls” and most recently, the staged radio play, “Mystery in Pimlico”. She is extremely grateful to be working with this amazing cast and crew and is looking forward to sharing this heartwarming play with all of you. Enjoy the show! “What care I for words? Yet words do well when he that speaks them pleases those that hear.” – William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”.

DirectorClint Hames
Producer –Laura Hames
Stage Manager — Ann-Marie Blessin
Assistant Stage Manager — Sheryl Tyson
Lighting Design/Operator — Hayden Simpson
Sound Design/Operator — Debra Archer
Set Design — Graham Archer, Clint Hames
Costume Design — Maggie Saunders
Assistant Costumer — Yvette Howard

– Director

Clint has directed dozens of productions for the Chilliwack Players Guild over the past 50+ years.  His most recent productions with the CPG are last spring’s hit “Calendar Girls” and the award-winning production of “The Gin Game”.  Other recent productions include “The Importance of Being Earnest”, “On Golden Pond”, “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Noises Off” for the CPG and “Paper Wheat” and “Equus” for the UFV Theatre.   Clint also directed and played guitar in the band for the last 3 Guild British Nights.  He lists “The Book of Will” among his favourite plays.

— Producer

Laura has been a member of the Chilliwack Players Guild since 1977 and since then has done almost every job required to put together a successful production. She has produced many times, directed (one time) and stage managed, and has also looked after props, costumes, set design and lobby display. Laura has also been on stage many times, including various British Pub Nights, “Fiddler on the Roof”, “The Glass Menagerie”, “Ring Round the Moon”, “Postmortem”, and “Marjorie Prime”.  She has really enjoyed working with this very talented and hardworking cast and crew and hopes you all enjoy watching the show!


Ann-Marie’s first production with the CPG was as Assistant Stage Manager for the Guild’s British Nights in 2017. She took the Stage Manager lead on the Guild’s 2019 British Nights and hasn’t skipped a beat. Since then, Ann-Marie has Stage Managed “Calendar Girls”, “The Outsider” and now, “The Book of Will”. She has also recently been named as Stage Manager for the upcoming CPG production of “Glitter Girls”. Ann-Marie says she loves this amazing show, cast and crew and is very happy working behind the scenes, calling all the shots during performances.

Properties – Judy Hill
Stage Crew – Virginia O’Brien, Bob Audet
Makeup & Hair – Carol Popove
Makeup Assts. – Robyn Kragh, Noelani Leon
Public Relations – CPG PR Committee, Dave Stephen
Set Construction – Rick Funk, Ken Watson, Bob Audet, John Pronger
Clint Hames, Lenny Fisher, Danil Deviatko
Set Painting – Suzanne Gresham, Debra Archer
Costume Consultants — Mary Spani, Janet, Dundas, Celia Visscher
Costume Construction -Barb Funk, Sabine Goulet, Maggie Saunders, Yvette Howard
Photographer- Ian Meissner
Graphics – Graham Archer
Lobby Display –
Jen Erlendson, Aby Erlendson
Programs –
Sandy Tait
Cast Party –
Margaret Revely

Click for slide show.

Click photos below to enlarge, or to view as slide show. 


Photos by Ian Meissner