City hosts best of theatre in Mainstage
Sure, it may be called the Tournament Capital of Canada — but there’s so much more to Kamloops than sports.
There’s a thriving and growing theatrical sector and its success is one of the reasons the city is again hosting Mainstage 2011-Deja Vu.
The annual festival of award-winning amateur-theatre produtions opens today (July 1) and continues to July 9 at various locations throughout Sagebrush Theatre.
And, said Mainstage local chair Wes Eccleston, the eight plays cover plenty of theatrical styles, from the intensity of Torch Song Trilogy-Widows and Children First by Harey Fierstein to the comedic farce of Ladies of the Camellias by Lillian Garrett-Groag.
Taking part are theatre groups from Vancouver Island, the Peace River, North Island, Central Interior, Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Greater Vancouver and North Shore zones.
There is no group from the River City; the local Kamloops Players did not win at its zone competition.
The only Canadian play being performed is Fuel by Jered Blake, which the Stage North Theatre Society, representing the Peace River zone, does Saturday, July 2 at noon.
Its main character is struggling with addiction — and those demons become characters that interact with the protagonist.
Eccleston is excited to be hosting Mainstage again, the fifth time the River City has had it.
And, he’s equally delighted knowing next year’s event will also be in Kamloops, the new headquarters for the group after it relocated here from Nanaimo.
Having Mainstage is a major event for the city’s cultural sector. The smallest cast and crew coming this year is 12 — last year the smallest was just three — with the largest topping out at 22 people.
They’ll all attend each other’s plays, Eccleston said, and he expects to see others from the city in the audience, too.
“Theatrically, we do very well in Kamloops,” he said, noting the city has Western Canada Theatre, the Thompson Rivers University Actors Workshop, Project X, as well as productions in schools and touring through the city.
In addition to the plays, there are critiques and workshops each day.
For more information, go online to
Tickets are at the Kamloops Live box office, 1025 Lorne St., 250-374-5483, kamloopslive.com.
• Today (July 1): Torch Song Trilogy — Widows and Children First, by Harvey Fierstein, presented by the Vancouver Island Players, 8 p.m.
• Saturday, July 2: Fuel, by Jered Blake, presented by Stage North Theatre Society, noon, and Over the River and Through the Woods, by Joe Di Pietro, presented by the Nanaimo Theatre group, 8 p.m.
• Sunday, July 3: Memory of Water, by Shelagh Stephenson, presented by Williams Lake Studio Theatre, 8 p.m.
• Monday, July 4: Lost in Yonkers, by Neil Simon, presented by Langley Players, 8 p.m.
• Tuesday, July 5: The Duck Variations, by David Mamet, presented by Theatre Kelowna, 8 p.m.
• Wednesday, July 6: Ladies of the Camellias by Lillian Garrett Groag, presented by White Rock Players Club, 8 p.m.
• Friday, July 8: Biloxi Blues, by Neil Simon, presented by Deep Cove Stage Society, 8 p.m.