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

Kelowna firefighters douse blaze in hedges

The cause of the fire on Renfrew Road is under investigation.

Kayaker still missing as COSAR continues aerial searches

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Kelowna Springtime Regatta draws more than 50 sailboats

Sailors treated to windy, excellent long weekend conditions on Okanagan Lake

Crews responding to car crash in West Kelowna

A collision has been reported at the intersection of Carrington Road and Butt Road.

Get those flowers competition ready

Gardeners will come together June 29, for the 22nd Juried Flower Show

Weather holds up for Rutland May Days

60th annual May Day midway, market and entertainment saw hundreds of attendees

Update: Plan to see more smoke from South Okanagan wildfire

Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, is an estimated 400 hectares

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

South Okanagan runners take top spots in Peach City RunFest

Both the top male and female half-marathon winners were from Penticton

Former Greyhound Canada employees gather in Okanagan to say a final farewell

“Greyhound may take our jobs but they will never take our friendships,” says former bus driver

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Okanagan tattoo fundraiser draws tons of support

Lineup around the block in Vernon for start of Five Fathoms Tattoo event for Children’s Hospital

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Most Read