After venue change, about 4,000 saw WCT's 'Buddy'

Having wrapped up its production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story on Thursday night, Western Canada Theatre artistic director James MacDonald said the community came together and the show was “fantastic.”

About 4,000 people took in the play after the theatre company was forced at the last minute to move its production to the Coast Kamloops Hotel and Conference Centre following the discovery of a roof truss crack at Sagebrush Theatre, where it typically performs.

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“The audience is understanding in appreciation of needing to make the change and there’s been odd adjustments, adding two weekday matinees, so the audience response was fantastic,” MacDonald said.

The show moved with three days’ notice (earlier than anticipated to fit the run into an already busy Coast schedule) up the hill to Aberdeen in what MacDonald called an “incredible logistical feat.”

Dressing rooms were built backstage, about 100 lighting instruments were brought in and adaptations were done to the set in order to make everything work on a different-sized stage.

The production team worked 18 hours per day for three days and MacDonald praised staff and volunteers who made it all possible. While adjustments were made prior to hitting the stage, MacDonald said the Coast theatre provides a “really good” viewing experience in the way it is set up.

Some of the performances sold out.

“The only downside for me is that we sold out the production in, of course, a 450-seat venue instead of our 700-seat venue,” MacDonald said, noting WCT could have sold “a lot” more tickets.

Western Canada Theatre’s next production — Mom’s the Word: Nest 1/2 Empty, which will run from March 28 to April 5 — will also be held at the Coast Kamloops Hotel and Conference Centre, until Sagebrush is back up and running.

Tickets and information are online at

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