Kristine Larsen (Ruth), Barbara Berry (Jessie), Amy Bell (Cora), Liz Saville (Celia), Jennifer Goodsell (Chris) and Bev Steeves (Annie) star in Calendar Girls, Powerhouse Theatre’s production featured in Theatre BC’s Mainstage Festival July 1. (Kiss the Monkey Photography)

Provincial theatre festival plays through Vernon

Theatre BC’s Mainstage Festival kicks off June 29, ends July 7 with banquet

The cycle rotates daily. A performance is followed by an engaging green room socials, which precedes a coffee critique the following afternoon before workshops and a new performance at night.

“It’s just so much going on. It’s like you’re bringing the Vancouver theatre forum to Vernon,” said Richard Kerton, Theatre BC Mainstage co-chair. “Every night is a different show. Every night is a different experience.”

Theatre BC’s Mainstage Festival kicks off at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre June 29 with Collected Stories by Donald Margulies presented by E.C.H.O. Players of the North Island Zone. Each night sees a performance from each of the eight theatre companies entered in this year’s festival, which culminates in an awards banquet July 7 at the Schubert Centre.

“We’re getting excited. We’re feeling the anxiety just crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s,” Kerton said of the looming festival kickoff.

“Mainstage likes to set a certain quality. Giving them (community theatre companies) the opportunity to perform in a professional theatre is an experience. It’s giving them a chance to see what it’s all about.”

Prior to the festival, theatre companies joined together with other companies in each of Theatre BC’s eight competing zones to decide which company proceeded to the provincials. In the Okanagan Zone (Ozone) that honour went to Powerhouse Theatre’s Calendar Girls directed by Tanya Laing Gahr.

Related: Vernon company wins Ozone best production

As part of their initial performance, Calendar Girls, in the vein of the true story itself, produced a calendar from which a portion of the proceeds was donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.

According to Barbara Keith, with Powerhouse Theatre, those donations total $4,650 and will be presented to Anni Rychtera, an LLSC volunteer and a Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma survivor, prior to Calendar Girls’ July 1 Mainstage performance.

Related: Cast bares it all on Vernon stage for Calendar Girls

Other performances include The Best Brothers by Daniel MacIvor presented by Terrace Little Theatre of the Skeena Zone June 30, Halo by Josh MacDonald presented by the Chilliwack School of Performing Arts as a wild card entry from the Fraser Valley Zone July 2, The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble by Beth Graham presented by Between Shifts Theatre of the North Shore Zone July 3, No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre presented by Theatre In The Country of the Fraser Valley Zone July 4, Hand To God by Roberts Askins presented by Williams Lake Studio Theatre of the Central Interior Zone July 5 and Blackbird by David Harrower presented by Stage North of the Peace River Zone July 6.

“Some of the companies are used to performing in their own facility and are getting used to (performing on new stages). Some have never performed in a big theatre either. We try to make it as comfortable as possible. Our goal is to welcome them to Vernon and relieve their anxiety,” Kerton said.

“Theatre BC is a non-profit. Our mandate is education. I’m confident that what we are doing is the right thing.”

Kerton said feedback from adjudicator Stephen Drover, artistic director of Rumble Theatre and associate artistic director at Arts Club Theatre Company, is provided not only to actors but to all who work on a production. And, for one Mainstage workshop, the feedback presented to Cathie Young, full-length winner of the Theatre BC 2017 Canadian Playwriting Competition is the highlight.

“She’s bringing her play to Vernon. That’s, of course, a brand new play never performed before,” Kerton said of Young who works with Expect Exceptional Theatre Company.

Scenes from Young’s play Port Moody Confidential – Glimpses will be workshopped by Kathryn Shaw at Powerhouse Theatre as part of the festival.

“It’s hard when you have it on paper to see what it’s going to look like on stage,” Kerton said.

In addition to the performances and critiques, local theatre star Amelia Sirianni will lead the Theatre Youth Camp Workshop July 5-7. Sirianni led the workshop last year with success.

“The biggest struggle is getting young people into community theatre, actually getting them on stage,” Kerton said.

At the banquet July 7, awards will be presented to theatre companies, actors, set designers, costume designers and more.

“We want people to come to the show. You’re not just buying a ticket to see a show, you’re supporting the theatre community,” Kerton said.

“This is a great opportunity for people to see great theatre in a short period of time at an affordable cost.”

Tickets to Theatre BC’s Mainstage Festival are available through the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca. Single performances are $30 or $25 Theatre BC member, a three-day pass is $87 or $72 respectively, a five-day pass is $140 or $115 and an eight-day pass is $216 or $176.


@VernonNews
parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Coldstream supports Okanagan College Campus residence project

Project would see a 100-bed residence on the Vernon campus in Coldstream

Dog control ramping up on Okanagan Rail Trail

RDNO taking extra precautions to ensure dogs remain on leash

Vernon show supports youth mental health, suicide prevention

Robb Nash will be performing Oct. 2 and 3 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre

Vernon preps for cannabis legalization

Vernon council tweaking zoning bylaws for non-medical cannabis uses, and cannabis cultivation

Vernon athletes boost WolfPack

Canada West sports roundup

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

Vernon Emergency program and Salvation Army team up

Vernon Emergency teams have extended appreciation to the Salvation Army of Vernon… Continue reading

Okanagan College student population climbs

Enrolment up nearly 14 per cent

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Headbones Gallery welcomes work of Glenn Clarke

Giddieeyup on display Oct. 5 to Nov. 24

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Most Read