The cast and crew of Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society’s production of A Number. Shane Tollefson, in back from left, sound, Jeff Rankin, lights, Kate Bertenshaw, hair and makeup, Kathleen MacDonald, director, Neal Matoga, stage manager, Jessica Hill, producer, Alison Turnbull, hair and makeup. Actors Chris Armstrong in front from left, and Matt Tyne. (Brooke-Lynne Hill photo)

The cast and crew of Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society’s production of A Number. Shane Tollefson, in back from left, sound, Jeff Rankin, lights, Kate Bertenshaw, hair and makeup, Kathleen MacDonald, director, Neal Matoga, stage manager, Jessica Hill, producer, Alison Turnbull, hair and makeup. Actors Chris Armstrong in front from left, and Matt Tyne. (Brooke-Lynne Hill photo)

Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society’s award-winning play prepping to head to Main Stage festival

A Number will open the theatre festival in Vernon in July

Kathleen MacDonald became an award-winning director in her first try when she directed the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society’s (WLSTS) production of A Number.

The play ran in Williams Lake for two weeks in April and was then performed for a Theatre BC adjudicator Raimund Stamm.

The WLSTS production of A Number, a one-hour play with only two actors, was awarded Best Production, Best Director, and Best Actor (for Matt Tyne).

While she estimates she has been doing community theatre for about 16 years, this was her first time calling the shots as a director.

“I loved it so much, it’s so different,” said MacDonald.

For her first attempt at directing, MacDonald jumped in with both feet, given the script she chose had very little stage direction or set description.

“This play gives you nothing and that’s really unusual,” she said.

But MacDonald had no problem filling in those blanks and said she “just did what felt right.”

Normally, adjudications take place as part of regional theatre festivals and WLSTS would be facing off against Kersley, Prince George and sometimes 100 Mile House.

However, due to the pandemic, not enough groups in the region produced plays and so the WLSTS competed against the theatre group Mercury Players from Duncan, somewhat further afield.

The travellling adjudication included an adjudicator giving a two-hour session of feedback for the cast and crew to further develop their work.

MacDonald said Stamm provided a lot of really helpful suggestions, everything from transitions to set design, which they will now play with to hopefully improve their production.

Once they make the changes, the group will once again perform the revised version of the play for the local audiences.

A Number will show July 6 and 7 in Williams Lake at the Williams Lake Studio Theatre with doors open at 7:30 p.m. and admission by donation.

The group will continue to rehearse and develop the production in order to take it on the road to Vernon, where the group will open the Theatre BC Main Stage event on July 11.

From July 11 until July 15, community theatre groups from across the province will perform their award-winning plays to compete and get another adjudication session. The other theatre group productions will be by Theatre Kelowna, Langley Little Theatre, Nanaimo Theatre Group and Pivot Theatre in Surrey.

MacDonald said attending five day theatre festival and taking in the open adjudication sessions of feedback for the casts and crew is an incredible way for cast and crew to learn and grow.

With two hours of feedback from Stamm to build on, MacDonald was animated as she spoke of the different adjustments the group might try to improve the award-winning production.

Read more: A tasty finish to the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society 2021-22 season

Read more: Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society announces plays for next season



ruth.lloyd@wltribune.com

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