Community theatres enter the O-Zone

Locals have a chance to catch a different play every night for the Theatre BC Okanagan Zone Drama Festival, hosted by Powerhouse Theatre.

Locals have a chance to catch a different play every night next week when community theatres from throughout the region converge in Vernon for the Theatre BC Okanagan Zone (O-Zone) Drama Festival.

Hosted by Powerhouse Theatre, the festival starts Monday and continues to Saturday, May 18 with the awards ceremony.

Entries include the Kamloops Players, Shuswap Theatre (Salmon Arm), Fred Skeleton Theatre Company (Kelowna), Theatre Kelowna Society, and The Hub Arts Collective (Vernon).

“I would like to encourage all to register in order to attend the festival and attend the coffee critiques, which will be held at Powerhouse Theatre each morning from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 14  to Saturday, May 18,” said festival chair Penny Baynes.

The festival will culminate with the awards banquet at the Schubert Centre, where acting, technical and directing awards will be handed out.

The winner of best production will go on to compete among other Theatre BC zone winners at the Mainstage Festival in Kamloops July 5 to 13.

This year’s O-Zone adjudicator is Amy Baskin.

Baskin trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in the U.K. before making the leap across the pond to Kamloops.

A freelance director and drama facilitator, she has served as board president for Kamloops’ Project X Theatre and has directed Munsch Ado About Nothing and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead for Project X.

She was also assistant director for Western Canada Theatre Company’s Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (2011) and Seussical the Musical (2008).

Baskin co-produced the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games in Kamloops, and also directed Eight Goals for the B.C. Council for International Cooperation, which toured the province.

Individual tickets for all performances will be available for purchase at the Powerhouse Theatre box office, May 13 to 17, nightly at 6:30 p.m.

Curtain time for all performances is at 7.30 p.m. (All latecomers will be seated at intermission.)

Details of the plays to be performed and registration forms can be found on the Powerhouse Theatrical Society website at and on the Theatre BC website at under Events.

Schedule of plays:

– Monday, May 13 – The Hub Arts Collective: Oleanna by David Mamet.

– Tuesday, May 14 – Fred Skeleton: Venus In Fur by David Ives.

– Wednesday, May 15 – Theatre Kelowna: Caught In The Net by Ray Cooney

– Thursday, May 16 – Shuswap Theatre: The Herbal Bed by Peter Whelan.

– Friday, May 17 – Kamloops Players: God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza translated by Christopher Hampton.