The Studio Theatre won numerous top awards at the Central Cariboo Zone Drama Festival held in Williams Lake last week including the outstanding production award for Crimes of the Heart making the play the provincial contender from this zone.
Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley also came away with the outstanding actress award for Juli Harland, outstanding supporting actress award for Stacey Poirier, and outstanding new actress award for Kalysta Szauer.
Crimes of the Heart also cleaned up on back stage awards with Christa Obergfell and Sharon Hoffman winning for outstanding costumes; outstanding backstage crew headed up by Mackenzie Moore; and outstanding lighting design by Curt and his son Conlan Sprickerhoff.
The Studio Theatre production of Office Hours also took some prestigious awards with Micheal Hodgson winning for outstanding new director and outstanding set design; Therisa Piemer winning the outstanding newcomer (actor); and Craig Smith winning for best poster.
With their festival win Crimes of the Heart will be heading off to the Theatre B.C. Mainstage provincial festival in Kamloops in July.
Crimes of the Heart is scheduled for staging on July 5. Jeff Hyslop, who played the phantom in Queen Elizabeth Theatre production some years ago, will be the provincial festival adjudicator.
The musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelore and Larry Gilbert performed by the 100 Mile House Performing Arts Society also took numerous awards at the zone festival held in the lakecity May 24 to May 27.
The 100 Mile House players won for outstanding runner-up production; Marie Hooper won outstanding director; Nick Goshorn won outstanding actor; Shelly Carrera won honourable mention for costumes; Nicole Weir won for outstanding make-up and hair design; Chris Haddon for outstanding props design; and Pat Friesen and Walt Sherry for outstanding sound design. The play also won the outstanding ensemble award.
The Kersley Players production of Blind Date by Kersley playwright Roy Teed won the best ZudZud award and Gino De Rose won the best outstanding supporting actor award.
Kersley also brought down a production of The Wedding Story by Julianne Homokay.
During the festival adjudicator Amy Baskin provided audiences with short adjudications after each production and longer working sessions with each of the casts and crews following their performances.
She helped the actors and crews work on developing nuances that would improve their productions.
Kalysta Szauer is just 17 and an example of the Studio Theatre’s ongoing efforts to encourage more people to join and enjoy theatre.
The Grade 12 WLSS student played the talking head in the Studio Theatre production of the Clumsy Custard Horror Show and Ice Cream Clone Review earlier this year and then admireably took on the much more demanding role of the anguished and abused Babe in Crimes of the Heart.
She is also working back stage on the WLSS production of Alice — A Wonderland that will be on stage at the school later in June.
After graduation Kalysta is thinking of a career in backstage theatre but for next year she plans to work in the UK. She was an exchange student last year in Edinburgh, Scotland.
“I am loving it. It is such a powerful part,” Kalysta says of her role as Babe.
She gives her family the credit for encouraging her in theatre. Both her aunt Katalin and her dad Augustine have been on stage in previous Studio Theatre productions.