Studio Theatre returns to home stage for A Body of Water

Tanya Isnardy (right) returns to the stage to play a lead role alongside Brad Lawryk (not shown) and Drinda Huston (left) in A Body of Water. The play is the first in-person production by the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and opens Nov 3 to vaccinated partons at 50 per cent capacity. Photo: Ruth Lloyd - Williams Lake Tribune
Tanya Isnardy (left) and Brad Lawryk star in Williams Lake Studio Theatre's production of A Body of Water, the group's first in-person production since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The play opens Nov. 3 and runs until Nov. 13.Photo: Ruth Lloyd - Williams Lake Tribune
Tanya Isnardy returns to the stage for the first time in a decade to star in Williams Lake Studio Theatre's production of A Body of Water. This is the group's first in-person production since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it opens Nov. 3 and runs until Nov. 13. Photo: Ruth Lloyd - Williams Lake Tribune
Drinda Huston (right) takes her first major on-stage role in Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society's production of A Body of Water, alongside Tanya Isnardy (left) and Brad Lawryk (not shown). The play is the Society's first in-person production since the onset of COVID-19 and opens Nov. 3. Photo: Ruth Lloyd - Williams Lake Tribune

The lakecity will welcome theatre back to live, in-person performances Nov. 3 with A Body of Water, a play by Lee Blessing, after COVID-19 scuttled last season’s plans.

The play will be director Curt Sprickerhoff’s last with the group, as he is relocating to Kamloops, but it is a “full-circle” experience for him after 20 years directing with Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society (WLSTS).

In the first play he directed, he worked with actor Tanya Isnardy, who is returning to the stage after 10 years away to have a family.

“I think this is the fourth time I’ve directed her and there’s a reason why I always choose her,” he said. “It’s cause she’s so good to work with and so much fun and so good on stage.”

Isnardy has the same appreciation for working with Sprickerhoff, noting the fact it was his last local play made it ‘very enticing’ for her to return.

“It feels great (to be back on stage) but with two kiddos, the time thing was more of a stretch than I ever remembered,” said Isnardy, who credits the support of her partner Ty Martel with making it possible.

While the play was originally cast in February of 2020, the emergence of the pandemic caused a change in plans for the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society.

“It’s been kind of in limbo since then,” said Sprickerhoff. “I put the script down for a year because I couldn’t look at it.”

While the group managed to keep a bit of their momentum with Zoom play readings, there were no in-person performances.

“It’s been really difficult,” said Sprickerhoff, citing financial strains to the organization, as well as challenges keeping people engaged.

“It’s the social aspect of this group that keeps people coming,” he said.

Sprickerhoff said it’s nice to have people back in person and the small cast of this play helped make it more feasible. He had to re-cast two of the three parts, but the small cast made the production easier to manage under COVID-19 conditions.

“I don’t think we could have done it with a big group right now,” he said.

While he did put the play down for the height of the pandemic, he said the play is one he kept coming back to over the years.

“It’s just a really interesting ride,” he said. With changes in direction, style and “lots of twists,” Sprickerhoff said the play swings from mystery to drama, thriller to “a bit of a love story.”

He praises the cast for their work on stage.

Brad Lawryk takes a lead role alongside Isnardy, and Sprickerhoff said Lawryk “seems to have wanted this part because of the challenge of it, and has really risen to the occasion.”

He’s just amazing in the thing.”

The third member of the cast is Drinda Huston, taking the role of Wren, and while she has not had a lot of on-stage experience, Sprickerhoff said it sure doesn’t show.

“Wow, has she ever come along as an actor,” said Sprickerhoff. “She’s really, really taken to it.

A Body of Water opens Nov. 3 at the Williams Lake Studio Theatre on 4100 Mackenzie Avenue North, Williams Lake. The show will run Nov. 3 – 6 and Nov. 10 – 13. Tickets are $15 each and available at: https://boxoffice.wlstudiotheatre.ca/

Proof of vaccination will be required and patrons will need to wear a mask when entering. The play does not include an intermission.

Read More: HOMETOWN: Lights, camera, action

Read More: The Williams Lake Studio Theatre’s outdoor theatre event takes to the stage Aug. 5-8



ruth.lloyd@wltribune.com

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