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Riverview teen's legacy of good deeds lives on in a new play called Becca

Riverview teen Rebecca Schofield was well known for her kindness campaign, #BeccaToldMeTo. Now, her story is being told in a documentary-style play. (CBC News - image credit)
Riverview teen Rebecca Schofield was well known for her kindness campaign, #BeccaToldMeTo. Now, her story is being told in a documentary-style play. (CBC News - image credit)

#BeccaToldMeTo.

It's a hashtag that's been used around the world to share good deeds, all in the name of a Riverview teen.

It's been almost six years since Rebecca Schofield, or Becca, died from brain cancer at the age of 18, but her legacy and her good-deeds campaign will live on in a new play about her.

Mélanie Léger is the playwright behind Becca, a documentary-style play done in collaboration with Theatre New Brunswick and Théâtre populaire d'Acadie.

Matthew Lumley and Mélanie LeBlanc are seen here in the play Becca, which is touring across the province until the beginning of March.
Matthew Lumley and Mélanie LeBlanc are seen here in the play Becca, which is touring across the province until the beginning of March.

Matthew Lumley and Mélanie LeBlanc are seen here in the play Becca, which is touring across the province until the beginning of March. (André Reinders)

Léger said the play is told from the perspective of Becca's family and the script is based on interviews she conducted with them. Throughout the play, she said it flashes back to big moments in Becca's movement.

"We felt that it would be stronger to have the story told by her family," said Léger. "Rebecca is there, she's there everywhere in the play, but she's not physically, there's no actress playing her."

Becca became known around the world after she found out she was terminal in December 2016 and launched a social media kindness campaign, encouraging people to do a small act of kindness.

Anne Schofield, Becca's mom, said when she was approached four years ago with the idea of the play, she wondered how Becca's story would be interpreted on the stage.

"It was a very emotional moment to think that after she's passed away, she is still inspiring people to share her story, to continue her movement," said Schofield. "She's still touching lives."

From the moment the family was asked about the prospect of the play, they were kept in the loop for every part of the process — from getting to read every edit that was made to being able to sit in on some of the rehearsals.

From left, actors Bianca Richard and Mélanie LeBlanc in the play Becca. The show is based on a movement started by Becca Schofield.
From left, actors Bianca Richard and Mélanie LeBlanc in the play Becca. The show is based on a movement started by Becca Schofield.

From left, actors Bianca Richard and Mélanie LeBlanc in the play Becca. The show is based on a movement started by Becca Schofield. (André Reinders)

Schofield said if someone goes to watch the play without knowing anything about Becca or her story, they'll leave knowing her, her essence and her spirit.

"We're very proud of the final product of what [Léger] was able to do with our little story, her journey," said Schofield.

Along with using interviews from the family, Léger said she also chose some touching stories to include from the Facebook group where people post their good deeds in honour of Becca.

One of those posts is more of a reflection than an act of kindness, said Léger. It compares Becca's legacy to raindrops on a lake.

Anne Schofield, seen here with Becca at the 2015 Tree of Hope on CBC's Information Morning Moncton, said her family will spend whatever time Becca has left together.
Anne Schofield, seen here with Becca at the 2015 Tree of Hope on CBC's Information Morning Moncton, said her family will spend whatever time Becca has left together.

Anne Schofield, seen here with Becca at the 2015 Tree of Hope on CBC's Information Morning Moncton, said her family will spend whatever time Becca has left together. (Karin Reid-LeBlanc/CBC)

The writer said while throwing a rock into a lake creates a wave, raindrops on a lake create many waves.

"Sometimes the rain kind of slows down and sometimes the rain is stronger, but the rain never really, totally goes away," Léger said. "Or when it does, we know it's gonna come back."

Schofield agrees. She said the movement never stopped, but she believes the play might "create a new rainstorm and kind of, you know, rejuvenate the movement."

Schofield said Becca inspired people to do acts of kindness, but she also helped people have more compassion for themselves when it comes to anxiety, debt or illness.

"They're inspired by her to live their best life for what time they have left," she said.

"To know that my daughter, who passed away at 18 years old, has inspired and changed people's lives and the way they look at their lives, the way they live their lives, the way they treat each other — in Becca's words, it's mind blowing. It is such a deep and huge feeling. It's hard to describe in words."

The play had its preview show on Wednesday, followed by the premiere on Thursday. It will continue to tour New Brunswick until March 2.