Footlighters Theatre Society will be presenting the locally written Almost Golden at Theatre BC’s Mainstage provincial competition in July after being named best production at this weekend’s Centre Stage, an adjudicated competition of plays from the Kootenay Zone.
Adjudicator Danielle Dunn-Morris gave the top honour following a festival that included two original Footlighters plays — Almost Golden and Coffee’s On — and The Dumb Waiter, presented by the Revelstoke Theatre Company.
“I chose it because I felt that the company in Creston deserved to go to Mainstage,” said Dunn-Morris, who appreciated the fact that the play was local and original. “You have an amazing energy rising up from the group.”
Almost Golden, written by Suzanne Chubb and Jason Smith, and directed by Brian Lawrence, won most of the awards, with Stephanie Sweet named best supporting actress, Kelly Mehrer earning best supporting actor and Marc Archambault receiving a special mention for acting. The cast and crew were named in a combined award for props and costumes, and Smith earned an award for set design.
For Coffee’s On, Jordan Koop was named best actor for his one-man show, and his director, Simon Lazarchuk, earned an award of merit for directing.
“It was a very sophisticated, different idea which cleverly and creatively came to an amazing and profound ending,” said Dunn-Morris, who added that the play was “beautifully written and beautifully acted.”
The Revelstoke team’s production of Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter earned three awards: best director for Anita Hallewas, and best actress split between Sarah Harper and Anna Fin, who starred in the play’s two male roles.
“It’s a classic with many possibilities on how the story can be put forward,” said Dunn-Morris. “The company took some risks and entertained us royally; however, the ending needed to be more of an unknown than it was.”
For his role in all three festival productions, Prince Charles Theatre technician Caleb Siggers earned the honour of best lighting design.
This marks the first time that Creston has hosted the zone festival since 2003, and it’s first festival entry since the award-winning Danny and the Deep Blue Sea in 2002.
“The community was so supportive of all three plays,” said Lawrence, the festival co-chair and Footlighters president. “And almost as important, the adjudicator’s critiques of each play gave everyone involved — the audience, as well as cast and crew — a much better understanding of what makes good theatre.”