Bumbershoot Theatre’s first Theatre for Teen Audiences production of 2015 in Kelowna will feature a headline performer. Canadian theatre icon Jeff Hyslop will appear in the role as The Giver in an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s award winning novel of the same name.
Aimed at ages 10+ through adult, the story, which was adapted by Eric Coble, explores growing up and taking control of one’s own destiny. Playing opposite Hyslop in the role of Jonas ‘the Receiver’ will be Antony Knight.
Though well known as an actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer, Hyslop is best known as the original Phantom in the Canadian touring production of ‘Phantom of the Opera’. Artistic Director Tracy Ross said that being able to bring Hyslop to the Bumbershoot stage “will be an incredible learning experience for the other actors in the show and a delight for Kelowna audiences.”
The Giver will be presented from April 16-19 and 23-26 with Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances at 6.30 pm and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 pm at Bumbershoot Theatre at #125 – 1295 Cannery Lane. Tickets are available at the Bumbershoot box office, online, or by calling 778-478-0142.
Also taking part in the cast will be local performers Allison Macfarlane, Trance Blackman, Sarah Goddard, Francois Jolicoeur, Natasha Simon-Jantz and Tessa Bentley. In the story, Jonas lives in a perfect world of conformity and contentment where there is no war or pain. When he turns 12, he is given his life assignment as The Receiver of Memory and begins to understand the dark secrets behind his community as explained by The Giver. What follows from Lowry’s best-selling novel is Jonas’ process of growing up and taking control of his destiny, making this an absorbing play.
Hyslop appeared in over 975 performances of The Phantom, and was also Jeff the Mannequin in the TV series Today’s Special. He has performed with artists such as Ann Reinking and Chita Rivera.
As one of the two ‘Theatre for Young Adults’ Bumbershoot productions this season, ‘The Giver’ complements four Mainstage productions for younger children through adults.
In addition to its live theatre performances Bumbershoot also offers a full selection of drama workshops and classes.
Its residency program, which is done in conjunction with participating Okanagan schools, offers a week-long in-school program which immerses students in a drama workshop as part of the school’s curriculum. After gaining first hand drama knowledge and experience the students host a performance for parents with the proceeds going to the school.
Bumbershoot, which was launched in 2009, is a non-profit registered charitable theatre company dedicated to introducing Okanagan youth and children to the magic of the theatre.
Full details on Bumbershoot Children’s Theatre is available on their website, www.bumbershoottheatre com.