#BeccaToldMeTo: Celebrating life and kindness

Graph for the Theatre New Brunswick play 'Becca.' (Submitted: Theatre New Brunswick)

When Riverview teen Rebecca Schofield was given the news that her cancer was terminal in 2016, she was determined to spread kindness through a movement: #BeccaToldMeTo. 

Six years after her death, her life and movement is honoured in the play Becca. Meant as a celebration of her life and kindness, Theatre New Brunswick is presenting the show from Feb. 7 to March 2, with a provincial tour set to begin on the sixth anniversary of her passing at the age of 18.

“It ‘s inspiring. It’s really about the movement she created to inspire others to do great deeds,” said Carlo Meka, who plays Jason Tremer, one of Rebecca’s friends.

Meka said that he was drawn to be part of Becca for the humbling side of sharing Schofield’s story that has been known throughout the world. 

“I have to say, it’s really about the fact it’s not even about me.”

The character Meka plays wrote a book about her called #BeccaToldMeTo: Spreading kindness one Hashtag at the time. In it, Tremer recalls how Schofield asked the world to perform random acts of kindness and share them on social media using the hashtag. In just 10 weeks, over 1000 acts of kindness were shared on Facebook.

“It’s really great to be able to play his character.”

“Generous and loving towards people. He was a really good mentor,”  Meka described Tremer after getting the chance to meet him in person. He and the rest of the cast got the opportunity to meet Schofield’s family, her parents and her sister.

Meka also plays the doctor who had to deliver the news about the diagnosis of terminal cancer.

“That is always a challenge because it’s a pretty emotional scene that I have.”

Meka said that amid silence when one of the actors has a tear in their eyes, the true challenge emerges: to convey the genuine message of joy without succumbing to tears. Meka recalled this particular moment as one that linger in his memory and an experience shared with his fellow performers. 

Meka added that Melanie Lèger, director of the play, said to the actors to remain to show the deeper message the play has to offer. 

“If people can just feel relaxed and see that it’s okay, and regardless of what life throws you, you can always find a way to laugh, love, and live.”

Meka said he looks upon his personal experience, where his friend fought and survived cancer. He added having the opportunity to perform in “Becca” made him look back to his experiences, humble himself and get a powerful meaning behind them.

“There’s no question that it has humbled me much more, not everybody has an easy life,” he said. “It’s a story about the things money cannot buy, it’s about family and friendships.”

Meka said he hopes this play inspires people to understand each other more. For him, “Becca” will show to the audience that it’s not always about what we go through, but about the journey.

“We just need to take time to acknowledge each other, and not let generosity go away,” he said.