Mainstage brings best of community theatre to Kamloops
The curtain may be drawn on Western Canada Theatre productions for the summer but 10 of the best amateur productions in the province will take over the stage at Sagebrush Theatre next week.
The 79th annual Mainstage will bring about 200 actors, technical staff, directors and others involved in creating theatre — as well as their family and friends — to Kamloops for the week-long festival.
Vance Schneider, executive director of Theatre B.C., which sponsors the annual event, said Mainstage is what all community theatre groups are aiming for when they perform.
The province is divided into 10 zones, Schneider said, and theatre groups in each compete at that level for a chance to move to the provincial stage.
The River City is in the Okanagan zone and the Kamloops Players sent its production of Dearly Departed to the zone finals, losing to Vernon’s Powerhouse Theatre production of The Woman in Black, which will wrap up the festival.
Vancouver-born actor and singer Jeff Hyslop is the adjudicator for Mainstage and will perform several functions during the festival.
He’ll address the audience after every performance, giving it a bit of insight into the production just seen.
He’ll also take part in critiques the following day that are open to the public, where Hyslop will review in more detail the play and talk about the things he liked and didn’t like.
The critiques will be held at the Old Courthouse Cultural Centre at various times; details are available online at tbcmainstage.ca/node/54.
Theatre-related workshops will be held throughout the week at Pavilion Theatre on aspects ranging from acting and directing to technical and costume design.
Among those heading the workshops are Christopher Weddell, Sherri May, Ross Nichol and Alan Corbishley.
The festival kicks off on Saturday, June 30 at 6 p.m. with a reception at Sagebrush Theatre, complete with entertainment, a silent auction and refreshments.
The reception is open to all ticket holders, registrants and their guests.
There are also green-room socials every night after theatre for actors, crew, audience and volunteers.
The week ends with a banquet and awards cremony at the Kamloops Convention Centre theatre on Saturday, July 7.
This is where 16 Thespian awards — bronze and copper statues — wll be presented in 16 categories.
Schneider said he’s working on providing an online simulcast of the awards presentation for those who are unable to stay through to the end of the festival.
Plays in the festival:
Saturday, June 30, noon: Mending Fences by Norm Foster, Revelstoke Theatre Company, Kootenay zone.
Saturday, June 30, 8 p.m.: A Particular Class of Women by Janet Feindel, Emerald Pig Theatrical Society, Fraser Valley zone.
Sunday, July 1, 8 p.m., The Cemetery Club by Ivan Menschell, Between Shifts Theatre, North Shore Zone.
Monday, July 2, 8 p.m.: Cagebirds by David Campton, Parallel Players, 45 minutes, and Dinner for One by Laurie Wuylie, Gaylord and Company, 15 minutes, both South Island zone.
Tuesday, July 3, 8 p.m.: Dog Sees God by Bert Royal, The Spectacular Chair Factory, Peace River zone.
Wednesday, July 4, 8 p.m.: Waiting for the Parade by John Murrell, Courtenay Little Theatre, North Island zone.
Thursday, July 5, 8 p.m.: Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley, Williams Lake Studio Theatre, Central Interior zone.
Friday, July 6, noon: The Lion in Winter by James Goldman, White Rock Players, Greater Vancouver zone.
Friday, July 6, 8 p.m.: The Woman in Black, adapted by Stephen Mallatratt from the book by Susan Hill, Powerhouse Theatre, Okanagan zone.
General admission: $22; Theatre B.C. members, $19; seniors and students, $19; children 14 and younger, $14. All performances at Sagebrush Theatre, 1300 Ninth Ave.
Tickets at the Kamloops Live Box Office, 1025 Lorne St., 250-374-5483, kamloopslive.ca.