Dance, theatre, kids productions and more will be under the spotlight thanks to hard work from a local non-profit society.
Subscriptions to the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society’s Spotlight Series are now available through the Ticket Seller.
“The great thing about subscriptions is (some shows) especially are high price tickets. You buy a subscription and it pretty much pays for those and you get other shows as well,” said Keyanna Burgher, audience development officer.
Subscriptions are available for each of the four main series under the Society’s Spotlight — dance, theatre, kids’ and first stages. And, Burgher said, subscriptions all come with a 50 per cent off voucher for any 2018/19 Spotlight Series Show of the purchaser’s choice.
Additionally, those who purchase a subscription to either the dance or theatre series get a bonus ticket to the special presentation performance Words of Our Chiefs Sept. 5.
Comprised of five performances, the Dance Series kicks off Oct. 28 and features a wide step of professional dancing, including Dance Cuba’s Cuba Vibra March 15, which fits cozily into the Society’s efforts to create a multicultural series.
“It just looks and feels like Cuba. It has that ’50s look,” said Burgher.
Artistic director Erin Kennedy agreed.
“One of the things I’m excited about with Dance Cuba is the music,” Kennedy said. “It’s a great celebration of Cuban culture.”
The theatre series, which is also comprised of five events, digs deep into Canadian culture with performances like Western Canada Theatre’s April 18 performance Glory — a performance set in the 1930s following women who paved the way for women in hockey today — and Urban Ink’s March 13 Children of God — a musical that revolves around an indigenous family whose children are forced into the residential school system.
And, with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission consistently in the spotlight for the past several years, Kennedy said it’s more poignant than ever.
”Children of God is one of the most powerful theatre experience I’ve ever had, and I’ve seen a lot of shows. I think it’s for all Canadians. It’s a tough one to talk about. Especially in Canada right now, it’s an important piece of theatre to see,” Kennedy said.
”It’s asking to open the hearts and minds of all Canadian to see indigenous experiences through their perspective.”
Taking a step into the lighter-hearted side, Kennedy and Burgher said that their kids’ programming will shine this year.
In the kids’ series, which features four performances, audiences will experience new heights in Monster Theatre’s We Now Know: The Complete History of Science Feb. 16 and Duffelbag Theatre’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on Dec. 9.
“They pull kids and parents out of the audience and put them into the show,” Kennedy said of Duffelbag Theatre, adding that they manage to keep the story fluid and production entertaining for all.
Aimed at a younger audience is the first stages series with two productions aimed at toddlers: Mermaid Theatre’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories March 3 and renowned children’s musician Fred Penner Oct. 21.
Known for his hits The Cat Came Back and Sandwiches, Kennedy said Penner embodies the Society’s mantra behind the first stages series, saying that adults will be overcome with nostalgia through the tunes while kids jump and sing along.
“Before all kids and first stages shows, we always have events in the lobby,” Burgher added. “You can kind of make a day of it.”
Subscriptions aren’t available for the Society’s special presentations, but Kennedy and Burgher said those performances feature something for everyone and further ingrain the idea of a multicultural series into Spotlight.
The Society is at the helm of the Diwali in Vernon festival — a week-long festival culminating in a multicultural showcase at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Oct. 13.
And, for their 17th Birthday Bash, the Society has decided to go big and take the theatre to the wild wild west with Cirque Eloize’s Saloon Sept. 30.
“It’s so hard to describe. It’s such a spectacle,” Kennedy said.
Burgher agreed and added that will be the case for all of Spotlight.
“It’s going to be a crazy season,” Burgher said.
Dance and theatre subscriptions are $155 adult, $145 seniors and $135 youth each and are the equivalent of five shows for the price of four. A kids’ series subscription is $38 and a first stages subscription is $20. To purchase a subscription or for more information, visit www.ticketseller.ca or call 250-549-7469.