Taking a summer detour through Rivertown

Student group stages plays for kids

Des Geddes said she’s been into theatre ever since she was a little kid.

She hit the stage in high school and has become even more involved during her time at Thompson Rivers University, where she’s working toward a bachelor of arts degree and has been involved in two productions.

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She started with TRU’s student production of Twelfth Night and also took part in the Directors Festival.

After she finished her first year of classes, Geddes asked what students usually did during the summer and was referred to the Rivertown Players. She decided to give it a shot, went through interviews and auditioned and was chosen to be one of the program’s three actors.

“I was so happy that I decided to go for it because it’s completely awesome,” she said.

The Rivertown Players play to kid audiences all over Kamloops and the surrounding region. They perform in several of the city’s parks, at Sun Peaks and at festivals.

The Players’ upcoming shows include two shows at Ribfest on Friday and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and two evening shows at Chase’s CornStock Festival on Tuesday at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. A complete schedule with dates to Aug. 25 can be found on the Rivertown Players Facebook page.

Geddes’ fellow performers include Zack Fernstrom and Ashley Hiibner — both of whom will be graduating next year and won’t return to the Players.

That means she’s learning what she can this year with the expert help of her veteran co-performers.

“I’d just like to be able to help next year’s Players like Ashley and Zack helped me,” she said.

Geddes and company also have the help of Project X Theatre’s Melissa Purcha, who is serving as a mentor for the group.

“She helps with decisions and she’s been teaching us stage combat for our superhero shows. She’s a dream to be around,” Geddes said.

Among the duties of a Rivertown Player is the creation of two original plays — one each for July and August.

Geddes’ August production is Tack’s Summer Camp Spectacular, the story of Tacks and Gurgi, two counsellors at Blue Lake Camp who show newcomers what camp life is all about.

The writing process was a new one to Geddes, who told KTW that, despite her love of writing, she’d never done anything like this before and didn’t feel ready.

“It was very intimidating at first. It’s so much. I didn’t expect a half-hour play for children to be so long,” she said.

Now, having penned two plays for the Players, Geddes said she plans to keep writing and is hoping to enter a playwriting competition at TRU this coming year.

© 2018 Kamloops This Week

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