Skip to content
Sponsored Content

Magic realism takes the stage in Vernon

A timeless tale for all ages

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre presents multidisciplinary talent on April 10, 2024, when they host “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” a SPOTLIGHT 2023-2024 Theatre Series performance that blurs the lines between reality and the fantastical!

The production unfolds within a kitchen turned theatre, where two storytellers and their audience encounter a miraculous being—a very old man with wings.

Despite varying opinions on his origin, ranging from divine to deceitful, the decision is made to house him in a chicken coop. What follows is a profound exploration of humanity’s reaction to the unfamiliar and the miraculous, employing music, puppetry, and live video projection to weave a narrative of beauty, strangeness, and emotional depth.


The performance was awarded five stars by The Scotsman, The Arts Review, and Edinburgh Festivals for Kids and hailed as “transcendently beautiful” and “near theatrical perfection” by critics, highlighting its broad appeal across generations.

Tickets are $12 and available online, with the 45-minute performance recommended for ages eight and above.

Erin Kennedy, the artistic director of the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre, and Dan Colley, the director and co-adaptor of the piece, shared insights into the adaptation process and their personal connections to the story.

Colley remarked on the story’s inherent ambiguity and the challenge of translating its moral universe to the stage. Together with his Newbridge-based colleagues, they crafted a hybrid version that combines the original text with dynamic improvisation.


Kennedy highlighted the multidisciplinary approach of the production, expressing excitement about inspiring young audiences through familiar, accessible objects transformed into elements of storytelling. The play’s public debut in Vernon, coupled with scheduled performance for local elementary school children underscores a commitment to nurturing a love for the arts among the youth.

Both Kennedy and Colley emphasized the play’s universal themes and its ability to resonate with people of all ages. The ambiguity surrounding the old man’s nature—angelic or otherwise—serves as a catalyst for audience engagement, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in a world where questions linger and interpretations vary.

Colley’s personal journey, from initial skepticism to a profound connection with the story during a visit to Mexico, mirrors the transformative experience awaiting Vernon’s audiences. ‘Every audience member makes a different connection with the play’, he says, highlighting the story’s universal relevance and local nuances that enrich its reception.

For more information about the performance or to purchase tickets visit