Shuswap Theatre Society vice-president Kim MacMillan says rather than going ahead with a play that doesn’t meet the quality both the community and theatre have come to expect, the decision was made to withdraw After You, this season’s third mainstage production.-Image credit:Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer

Play shelved due to casting challenges

Shuswap Theatre creative team working on creative replacement

After You is off the slate.

The board of Shuswap Theatre has accepted the recommendation of its artistic committee to cancel the production of After You planned to run April 28 to May 13.

Following auditions held in advance of rehearsals, the artistic committee reluctantly concluded that the roles in After You could not be successfully cast, and that not enough time remains to select an alternate play, obtain the rights, conduct auditions, cast the roles and rehearse the play to the standard Shuswap Theatre audiences have come to expect.

“Some of the scenes are very intimate so we had to have actors who, not only could play those roles, but were willing to play them,” says Shuswap Theatre Society vice-president Kim MacMillan. But we were unable to find people who could, and would, play those roles from those who auditioned.”

After You was to have been Shuswap Theatre’s entry into Theatre BC’s regional OZone Festival, which Shuswap Theatre is hosting this year from May 20 to 27.

With the need to cancel the play, the board has appointed a creative team comprised of Julia Body, Astrid Varnes, Peter Blacklock and Aidan Sparks to develop a creative collaboration to present to Shuswap Theatre audiences and as its entry into the festival.

“The four of them are just busting with creativity,” says MacMillan. “The thinking at the moment is to do something that involves an inter-generational project, with youth and older folks who will basically create their own script using the stories of their lives.”

The committee’s recommendation is expected by the end of March. There is no current plan as to how casting will take place.

“There’s a lot of depth in the company, so we’re confident we’ll have something that people will want to see,” says MacMillan, noting the production will not run in the same time slot as After You and that it may be as late as the weekend prior to the Ozones.

In the meantime, Shuswap Theatre is offering holders of tickets to After You three options: Tickets to a play of their choice at the Ozone Festival (value $20), credit towards tickets for next season or a full refund of the ticket purchase price.

Those choosing an exchange can simply keep their tickets until the tickets of their choice are on sale. Shuswap Theatre will be contacting all ticket holders that it can.

For more information to exchange your ticket or to receive a refund, call Kim MacMillan at 250-832-4094 or drop in at Intwined Fibre Arts at 81 Hudson Ave NE.

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