Delta Secondary grad, Nicola Elbro performs at Gateway Theatre in Richmond this week and next.
"I'm really excited to be performing at Gateway Theatre as I took my very first acting classes in the Gateway Academy as a child," she said through e-mail.
"We've been rehearsing in the same studio that my classes took place in, so it's been kind of surreal."
Elbro, 25, plays Mary in Mary's Wedding, a play that's described as a "moving tribute to the human cost of war."
Set around the First World War, Elbro's character meets and falls in love with Charlie, a soldier who goes off to fight in the conflict.
Elbro, who got her acting diploma at Douglas College and recently graduated from the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the University of Alberta, describes her character as a confident, playful, curious and passionate young English girl who's forced to grow up a bit quicker than anticipated.
"What I admire most about her, like so many women who lived through the First World War, is her courage and persistence."
Elbro said the play, in its entirety, is a dream and doesn't have a linear plot.
"I think what's beautiful about this form is the audience gets to piece the story together like a puzzle, much like you do when you wake up from a dream."
Elbro, who plans to head to London, England in December for some auditions, notes director Natasha Nadir and cast mate Giovanni Mocibob (who plays Charlie) have been very supportive during preparations for the production.
"The play is quite abstract, so sometimes we will all have different interpretations of a scene.
"Natasha has been really open to what Giovanni and I have brought to the table, so we've had a lot of opportunity to do some exploring.
"It's a very positive environment to work in, which I really appreciate."
Recent roles for Elbro include Madison in True Love Lies at The Citadel Theatre and Sister James in Doubt at the Studio Theatre (both in Edmonton).
Last summer, she was cast in Much Ado About Nothing and Macbeth in the Freewill Shakespeare Festival.
Mary's Wedding runs from Nov. 10 to 19 at Studio B at Gateway Theatre.
Visit www.gatewaytheatre.com or call the box office at 604-270-1812 for tickets.