Jason Smith

Jason Smith

Creston’s Footlighters hosting regional theatre competition, Centre Stage

Web Lead

After more than a decade since Creston hosted Centre Stage, Theatre BC’s Kootenay Zone festival, Footlighters Theatre Society is bringing the adjudicated competition back to the Prince Charles Theatre May 29-31.

Three plays — Almost Golden (story and trailer here) and Coffee’s On from Creston, and The Dumb Waiter from Revelstoke — will compete for several awards, including one for best production, which will move on to compete against other regional winners in July’s provincial festival in Kamloops.

“Having the festival return to Creston is a great opportunity for both the performers and creative teams to learn from the adjudicator,” says Footlighters president and festival co-chair Brian Lawrence. “Both of Creston’s scripts are original, so we’re particularly interested to receive feedback on them.”

Each play will run at 7:30 p.m. at Prince Charles Theatre, with a 10-minute critique from the adjudicator immediately following the performance. Anyone interested can also attend a two-hour critique of each play at 9:30 a.m. the following morning at the Snoring Sasquatch. The schedule is:

•May 29, Almost Golden (Footlighters), by Suzanne Chubb and Jason Smith, directed by Brian Lawrence. A retired miner and his wife living in a small B.C. town are celebrating their wedding anniversary. Their daughter, with her husband and son, and son, with his wife and daughter, come to visit, and the family’s bond is tested during appearances by four visitors, each of whom brings to light information that has a profound effect on the future. Starring Lynn Adderley, Marc Archambault, Warren Bruns, Suzanne Chubb, Starla Ek, Brian Lawrence, Debra Mehrer, Kelly Mehrer, Sam Mintenko, Jason Smith, Stephanie Sweet, Logan Thompson.

“This show deals with so many topics — aging, infidelity, sibling rivalry — that it really stuck a chord with the audience when we performed it in December,” said Lawrence. “Rehearsing it a second time has been a great opportunity to explore even deeper the feelings associated with those themes.”

•May 30, Coffee’s On (Footlighters), by Jordan Koop, directed by Simon Lazarchuk. A one-man show taking the audience through a week in a man’s life, at home, work and on stage, exploring up and downs along the way. Starring Jordan Koop, with paintings by Alison Masters as a backdrop.

“The production itself is very minimalistic and artistic,” said Koop. “Using poetry, comedy and narrative, you will follow a man’s journey to accept who he truly is, and why he can’t function properly without coffee.”

•May 31, The Dumb Waiter (Revelstoke Theatre Company) by Harold Pinter, directed by Anita Hallewas. Two hired assassins are holed-up in a dingy, disused basement of a rooming house, waiting to be sent out on their next job. Thinking the house has been abandoned, things get complicated when they receive information from sources coming from other floors to send food orders up a dumb waiter. They bicker between themselves as their anxiety grows about the unknown victim. Starring Anna Fin and Sarah Harper.

“There are some laugh out loud moments and also some opportunities for the audience to really think,” says Hallewas. “On top of that, the two actors are brilliant in their roles of Gus and Ben. We mixed it up with our take, and Gus and Ben are women assassins working in the present day. This all makes for a really great night at the theatre!”

Kamloops-based Danielle Dunn-Morris will take on the challenge of adjudicating the festival, announcing the awards on the final day before hosting a four-hour workshop with the winner. Trained at the University of BC and Banff School of Fine Arts, she is an experienced director, performer and educator.

With three vastly different plays on the schedule, the festival will be a learning experience for performers and audience members alike.

“This festival provides an excellent opportunity for local audiences to see three shows in a short period of time, and compare them,” says festival co-chair and Footlighters treasurer Frank Goodsir. “We won’t wait a dozen years to do it again!”

—FOOTLIGHTERS THEATRE SOCIETY