The Central Interior Zone Drama Festival continues in the lakecity tonight and tomorrow afternoon with the staging of visiting plays.
“We are so excited to be hosting the Central Interior Zone Festival this year and extend a huge welcome to our theatre family, Pocket Theatre from Prince George and The Kersley Players,” says Studio Theatre president Mary-Jo Hilyer.
“Together, we are presenting four diverse plays covering all facets of theatre from drama, to romance, to comedy.”
The Central Interior Zone Drama Festival happening at the Studio Theatre is and intense learning experience for both actors and back stage crews.
The productions are not only judged on their acting performances but on what is happening behind the scenes. And there are time limits.
For instance, the teams have four hours to put up their sets and prepare for their production and just one hour after the play ends to take the set down and clean the stage for the next production, says the festival stage manager Micheal Hodgson.
“Being the stage manager is a lot of fun because I get to work with four different types of plays and help each of the groups to put on their best show possible in what may be a foreign theatre to them.”
He helps the crews get oriented to the space and provides information on special equipment such as lighting and sound machines. He also acts as the referee to make sure everyone follows the festival rules.
Hodgson’s day during festival starts around 8:30 a.m. and won’t end until the last lights go out which may be well past midnight.
More than 30 actors and crew members are participating in the festival and many more people from around the region are expected to be in the community this week to watch the plays on stage says Michael Rawluk, a Studio Theatre member and zone festival committee organizer.
“It is exciting,” Rawluk says of the build- up to the festival, which has included lots of cleaning and organizing and setting up special displays in the recently renovated lobby.
He says the adjudicator Joan MacLean will give a public adjudication after each play for the actors and audience in attendance. The public is also invited to sit in on the more in-depth coffee critiques which are held the morning after each evening play (9 a.m. until noon) and directly after the last play in the festival which is a Saturday matinee.
The festival started Wednesday evening with the Studio Theatre production of Sense and Sensibility, continued Thursday evening with the Studio Theatre production of Glengarry Glen Ross, and continues tonight at 8 p.m. with Tales From Me and Irmie by the Kersley Players, and wraps up Saturday with the 1 p.m. production of Dearly Departed by the Pocket Theatre of Prince George.
The awards barbecue takes place at the theatre Saturday evening followed by the workshop with the adjudicator for the winning play Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to noon.
The winning play goes on to compete at the Mainstage provincial festival in Kamloops July 4 to 12.
A great deal of volunteer work and support from the local business community has gone into producing the festival for which the Studio Theatre is thankful.
“Festival would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and the many volunteer hours put in by the festival committee and theatre members from all three communities,” Hilyer says. “Thanks also to Joan MacLean for adjudicating this years festival.”