Junita Thiessen, who was raised in Quesnel and graduated from Correlieu Secondary School, is starring as Volta in the Fabulist Theatre production of The Untold Legend of Imogen Flight in Vancouver. (John Ball photo)

Correlieu grad starring in new swashbuckling ‘femme-forward’ play in Vancouver

Junita Thiessen grew up in Quesnel and went on to study acting at Capilano University

A Correlieu Secondary School graduate is currently starring in the world premiere of a daring and imaginative “femme-forward” play by Fabulist Theatre in Vancouver.

Featuring epic sword fights and tall tales of pirates, nuns and Queen Victoria, The Untold Legend Of Imogen Flight is being called “a swashbuckling feminist comedy for our time.”

On the day Imogen Flight is set to be knighted by Good Queen Vic, the patrons of the ladies-only “Saucy Chicken” pub share stories of their heroine. When Imogen herself shows up, along with her trusty sidekick Volta, she comes with more stories of her own — and someone on her trail with nefarious intentions, according to a news release about the play, which is running Feb. 27 to March 7 at CBC Studio 700 in Vancouver.

The Untold Legend Of Imogen Flight, which was written, directed and co-produced by Mary Littlejohn, stars a diverse, inter-generational cast of 10 women.

Junita Thiessen, who grew up in Quesnel and studied theatre at Capilano University, plays Imogen’s sidekick, Volta.

The Untold Legend Of Imogen Flight is the story of this woman, Imogen, who is a sword-fighting heroine; she goes about 19th-century England and saves people who need help,” said Thiessen. “The story is also about the full cast of women, who all have interesting lives, who are all fully actualized people. It’s super cool that this is a play all about women, where none of their stories really revolve around men; they’re all just fully actualized people with their own stories to tell.”

Thiessen does her own sword fighting, and every actress in the play gets to sword fight or have some sort of dagger play at some point in the play.

“It’s been a really cool experience doing this play because I can’t think of another play like this where women get to sword fight every single scene,” she said. “It’s been a super cool environment to work in too, all of these really supportive women of different generations, all from different ethnic backgrounds. It’s just been amazing.”

Thiessen, who is 22, moved to Vancouver about three years ago to study the Acting for Stage and Screen program at Capilano University. She graduated about seven months ago.

Thiessen says her time at Correlieu Secondary School was extremely valuable in leading her on this path.

“I totally give thanks to the school system in Quesnel,” she said. “I think Correlieu was super supportive of the arts, as supportive as a small-town high school can be. At the time, Ashleigh Desbiens was teaching the drama program, and she was so encouraging of me from the get-go. I remember going into her office one day crying, being like ‘I don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life,’ and she was like ‘what do you mean you don’t know what you want to do? You want to act.’”

When Thiessen asked Desbiens if she thought she could do it, her drama teacher told her she absolutely could and this is what she had to go to post-secondary school for.

“It was just so nice to have this adult completely support you and really see potential in me, and she’s the one who recommended that I attend Capilano,” said Thiessen.

Thiessen says she always loved performing and being the centre of attention, and she started studying drama in middle school.

“I kind of always knew I wanted to be an actor, and once I got a little bit older and you’re in Grade 11, and you’re taking Planning and you have to decide what career you want to do, I got really discouraged because there were some people in my life who weren’t as encouraging and were like ‘you need to be realistic; you need a realistic career path,’” she said. “But I can’t imagine myself doing anything else, so I’m glad I had people in my life who were supportive.”

One thing Thiessen has found really interesting and inspiring is that she has met many Quesnel graduates pursuing artistic careers while in Vancouver. She says there are quite a few people she went to school with who also went to Capilano or Trinity Western University for acting or musical theatre, and she has also run into former classmates who are now doing makeup for the film industry.

You can keep up with Thiessen’s career by following her on Facebook or Instagram by searching “Junita Thiessen.”

READ MORE: Quesnel native Stewart Cawood is the new operator of Barkerville’s Theatre Royal


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelly and Mila Bradley attended a drive-by volunteer event for Coralee Oakes. The incumbent B.C. Liberal is the preliminary leader for the Cariboo North. (Photo Submitted)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Coralee Oakes on track to reclaim Cariboo North seat

Mail-in ballots have not been counted, but the incumbent B.C. Liberal has 49.4 per cent of the vote

Quesnel was hit with unseasonal October snowfall earlier this week - More is on the way on Oct. 25 and 26. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
“Hazardous” weather expected for Quesnel: Environment Canada

10-20 cm of snow and freezing rain are expected to start Sunday night

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read