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Footlighters, going boldly with Star Trak

Theatre Society is bringing science fiction to the stage at Kootenay River Theatre April 5-7
From left: Suzanne Chubb, Tom Greentree, Raine Mynott and Gillian Wells rehearsing a scene from Footlighters Theatre Society’s Star Trak, which runs April 5-7 at Kootenay River Theatre.

Submitted by Footlighters Theatre Society

For the first time in its nearly 30-year history, Footlighters Theatre Society is bringing science fiction to the stage at Kootenay River Theatre April 5-7, when the comedy Star Trak debuts. Locally written by Suzanne Chubb and Jason Smith, the play lovingly pokes fun at the 1960s Star Trek series.

“We pay tribute to every familiar Star Trek trope,” says Smith. “We tried to get in as many as we possibly could. It will be fun to see what people connect with.”

The comedy takes place about the Starship Possibility — on which wisecracking Captain Timothy J. Clark, played by Tom Greentree, commands a few humans, a felinoid and an android — which is taking a group of children and teenagers to a new home, naturally running across some less-than-welcoming aliens along the way. If it sounds like something that might happen on an actual Star Trek episode, that’s the plan.

“The premise has been used many times,” says Chubb.

“There’s a formula to fit into, but you have to find a way to make it unique and different,” adds Smith.

And they have, injecting the brand of humour they’ve honed in previous comedic productions. Star Trak marks the sixth production, and fourth all-out comedy, they’ve co-written for Footlighters, with another hilarious entry, 1924: Incorporation Off the Rails, completing the 29th Footlighters season in June to celebrate Creston’s centennial.

The production of Star Trak has been eagerly anticipated for four years, having been shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic three weeks before it was scheduled to open in April 2020. Other commitments kept the show from being relaunched until now, with about half the original cast returning.

“It’s a huge relief and also really exciting to finally see this show coming back to life,” says Smith. “It wasn’t a straightforward one to simply restart, though; it has a lot of moving parts that make it really special.”

The sets, props, costumes and makeup are highly evocative of their TV inspiration, and the set for the starship’s bridge even includes a viewscreen that allows actors onstage to interact with characters in other locations.

“It’s technically complicated,” says Smith.

“You have to know the cues really well,” adds Chubb. “It’s probably one of the most complicated we’ve done so far.”

The undertaking has been immense, and the duo hopes that the nostalgia for the classic Star Trek series will help audiences enjoy watching Star Trak as much as they loved writing it.

“The TV series was really a big deal,” says Chubb. “I still remember watching when it was new, and it was really cool. I hadn’t seen anything like it before.”

Tickets are available at Sunshine ’N’ Gelato, Fly in the Fibre and online at