(From left) Lynn Adderley

(From left) Lynn Adderley

Headed South from the Great White North kicks off Creston’s Footlighters season

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What happens when you cross a U.S. Boy Scout, a feisty hotel owner, a less-than-trustworthy businessman and a group of man-crazy quilters? Simply, an evening of comedy fit for the whole family, when Footlighters Theatre Society kicks off its season with Headed South from the Great White North.

Running July 11-13 at Prince Charles Theatre, Headed South tells the tale of Waldorf Inn owner Barbara Seville (played by Zoe Fenrick), who has only three days before wily Lynden Renege (Jon Smith) and his two henchmen (Greg Benty, Morgan Benty) throw her and her staff out in the street. As the end seems near, Asa Hearts (Jesse Moreton) accidentally stumbles across the inn on his way to Florida, offering a flicker of hope that all is not lost.

Headed South also stars Bob Purdy, Suzanne Chubb, Jordan Koop, Sue Jorgensen, Axel Marini, Jennifer Dewald, Jasmine Lothien, Lynn Adderley, Gail Kitt, Stephanie Sweet, Ilana Cameron, Debra Mehrer, T.J. van Hooft, Shirley Cameron and Kelly Mehrer.

The play is the most recent in a long string of comedies, often melodramas, put on in the summer by the group. But this one is anything but typical, with songs and extra jokes added throughout.

“We expanded on the script and injected some modern humour into it,” said director Jason Smith. “That’s really allowed us to make this into something that will be fun for a wide range of people to watch.”

This may be Smith’s directorial debut, but he’s far from a stranger to the stage. His first Footlighters production was South Pacific in 2007, and he’s since played villains in two melodramas and Aladdin, and performed in the ensembles of The Quest for Quasi and Annie. And for the past four years, he’s taken on the challenge of creating the sets for most productions.

“I thought it was finally time to direct,” he said with a laugh. “It’s been a challenge — particularly since this show has a cast of twenty — but it’s so fulfilling to see my vision come to life.”

Assisting Smith is Gillian Wells, who recently made her Footlighters debut in the ensemble of Annie. She’s always had a love for theatre, and has enjoyed the opportunity to try something new, as well as watching the actors grow in their roles — something the audience is sure to notice.

“They’ve put so much thought and energy into making their characters come to life,” she said. “It’s been a real pleasure to see how they’ve developed since we started rehearsals.”

Headed South is the first production of Footlighters’ 19th season, which continues with Almost Golden (a comedy-drama written by Creston’s Jason Smith and Suzanne Chubb, and directed by Brian Lawrence) in December, Legend of Sleepy Hollow (directed by Jordan Koop) in April and Theatre BC’s Kootenay zone competition in May.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students/seniors and $5 for children under 12, available at Kingfisher Used Books, Black Bear Books or at the door. Each performance begins at 7:30 p.m.

—FOOTLIGHTERS THEATRE SOCIETY