The story line and characters are starting to come together for the Potato Dreams play project scheduled for this summer.
Actors who won parts in the production at recent auditions along with others interested in being part of the production are invited to a Potato Dreams play workshop this Sunday, May 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Centre next to city hall.
“The workshop will include improvisation, theatre games, movement, and drumming all for the purpose of bringing together the individual pieces that will begin to create Potato Dreams,” says artistic director Debra McNie.
“We are looking for people to help behind the scenes as well.”
Potato Dreams is set in the mid-1960’s. A young girl named Isabella is being raised alone by her father as her mother Alma (which means spirit) passed when Isabella was just five years old.
The young girl’s parents immigrated to Canada in the mid-1950s and settled with just enough money to buy a small house in a very small village.
“The play is historic fiction,” McNie says. “All things Potato Dreams are original works created by the wonderfully talented people of the Cariboo Chilcotin.”
Peggy McKinlay, McNie’s inspiration for the present day Isabella is assisting her in editing the script she has written for the play.
“Chris Hutton will play Andre, young Isabella’s father,” McNie says. “Young Isabella is yet to be cast but there are a few young gals being considered.”
The two women considered for playing grown up Isabella are unable to accept the role due to scheduling conflicts so McNie is seriously considering taking on the role herself.
“Isabella is in my head and came to me in a dream and for some reason people keep suggesting I should play her,” McNie says.
Other actors from youth to adults will be friends of Isabella’s and interact with the audience.
The dream sequences are independently written, staged and directed.
An original Potato Dreams song is being written by Pharis and Jason Romero.
Some of the dream sequences in process are — One Potato by Carl Johnson including an original song by Johnson; Magical Jesaja created and performed by Jesaja Class; Urban Indian, written by Helen Sandy, and performed by powwow and hiphop dancers.
Will Reierson is creating an original drum song and his mother Barbara Flach joins him during the song.
A sequence called Sustainable Mamma’s has been written, staged and performed by Mary Forbes and Juli Harland.
Likely Day Drama Camp led by Venta Rutkauskas is writing Yukon Gold which will be performed by the children of the day camp.
Spirit is performed by Lana Wright in collaboration with McNie, who is writing and developing the spirit character.
McNie says Chris Hornby and Cody Slinn will be giving tours of the Potato House house after each performance.
Sandi Alaric, (a noted lakecity singer and musical theatre director) is lending her considerable talents where ever they are needed, McNie says.
Casey Bennett is photographing the cast and will film the play.
McNie is designing the set. The lead set builder is Wayne Lamothe.
McNie, a former professional dancer, was inspired by a dream she had to create Potato Dreams.
“I am offering Potato Dreams as a gift for The Potato House Sustainable Community Society and hope for the play to be re-launched, re-worked many times over for others to enjoy in the future as the house comes to life as a sustainable living education centre,” McNie says.
“The most exciting aspect of creating Potato Dreams is the play has taken on a life of its own and those who are meant to be involved arrive with ideas and enthusiasm and a willingness to create with others,” McNie says.
“I have met some wonderful people which I might not have otherwise.
“From the dream sequences, ideas, suggestions to the writing and music and through general conversations, ideas have become reality.”
People interested in being part of the production can also contact McNie at 250-398-6344 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.