Western Canada Theatre has announced its new season and has scheduled nine performances for theatregoers over the next year.
The shows on the docket include six Canadian plays, two musicals and two comedies, with some familiar names on the list of what’s to come.
The season is broken up into two groups by venue, with one series taking place at Sagebrush Theatre and the other at Pavilion Theatre.
At Sagebrush Theatre (Mainstage Series)
Dracula: The Bloody Truth, a play by Le Navet Bete and John Nicholson, will run from Oct. 10 to Oct. 19. The play is described as Monty Python meets macabre and tells the story of professor Abraham Van Helsing on a breakneck journey from the Transylvanian mountains to the English coast.
Another familiar title will bring the hills to life around Christmastime. From Nov. 28 to Dec. 10, The Sound of Music will be staged in Kamloops as an all-new WCT production. The most popular musical in history tells the story of the von Trapp’s story of love, family and escape from the Nazis.
The New Canadian Curling Club tells the comedic story of four unlikely curlers — recent Canadian immigrants who know little about the sport. After their coach suffers an injury, they find the replacement coach has strong opinions about immigration, but they all must overcome their differences to compete for the famed Highlander Cup. The Thousand Islands Playhouse co-production runs in Kamloops from Jan. 23, 2020, to Feb. 1, 2020.
Serving Elizabeth is a play with two settings. One is set in Kenya, 1952, just before Elizabeth takes the crown, when a vehemently anti-monarchist cook is offered an exorbitant fee to cook for the princess. The other setting is in London in 2015. As Brexit ramps up and politics flare, Queen Elizabeth is featured in a TV series and a young Kenyan-Canadian production intern experiences a clash of culture. See the play from Feb. 20, 2020, to Feb. 29, 2020.
Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen is the story of a songwriter who checks in to New York’s Chelsea Hotel, desperately looking for lyrics for his next song. The writer is tormented by his past relationships and wants to forget about who he loves. The play will run from March 28, 2020, to April 4, 2020, and is described as sexy, mysterious and daring and is told through Cohen’s music and lyrics.
At Pavilion Theatre (Studio Series)
The Drowning Girls is the story of three dead Edwardian-era brides who come back alive to recount evidence against their former husband, who murdered them. The play, described as a “stylish, haunting fantasia” also features quirky humour and excitement. It runs from Sept. 19 to Sept. 28.
Café Daughter takes place in 1950s small-town Saskatchewan. A nine-year-old half-Chinese, half-Cree child struggles to find her place in an unwelcoming and quaint prairie community before an ally appears to help her. The play is inspired by the real-life story of Chinese-Canadian/Cree senator Lillian Eva Quan Dyck. This production will run from March 12, 2020, to March 21, 2020.
Ice cream, rollercoasters and the smell of old books are three items on the list of things that makes life worth living, according to the main character in Every Brilliant Thing, whose mother is battling chronic depression. The solo production done in the round will run from April 30, 2020, to May 9, 2020. "Brilliant things" from the list will be handed out to audience members, who will either shout their item out or join the actor on stage to play a brief part.
The season will also feature a special presentation of The Boy in the Moon at Pavilion Theatre. The play is based on Globe and Mail journalist Ian Brown’s memoir that tells the story of how he and his partner raised their son, who was born with profound disabilities caused by a rare genetic disorder.
New this year
Among what's new for next season is new risers for and reserved seating at Pavilion Theatre, a shift in show start times to 7:30 p.m. and student matinees becoming open matineers for all — with tea to be served beforehand. A new subscription option for only the shows at Pavilion Theatre shows is also available this year.
A previous WCT production from last season is also headed out on tour. Glory will play in Vancouver, Richmond and Nelson in B.C. along with four theatres in Ontario and one in Saskatchewan.
WCT managing director Evan Klassen also discussed Sagebrush Theatre, saying that its closure has had a "profound effect" on the organization. He said productions moving to Coast Kamloops Hotel and Conference Centre meant a doubling of expenses and a $50,000 loss for its recent production Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story.
He also said that he's seen the community rally behind WCT — and they have needed that kind of support.
Klassen said he expects Sagebrush Theatre to reopen Sept. 1, more than one month before WCT's fall productions begin.
Various ticket options are available, including flex passes of five or seven tickets and discounts for students and those younger than 30 or older than 65.
Subscribers can access early bird pricing until June 1.
Tickets are available at the Kamloops Live box office, 1025 Lorne St., 250-374-5483 and online at kamloopslive.ca.