Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society is emerging from the drought caused by COVID-19 restrictions and offering a series of short plays in a forest setting in August.
Lifetime WLST member Sheryl-Lynn Lewis said there will be three plays, about 15 minutes in length with two or three actors in each one.
“We were trying to find a way that if we had more COVID restrictions this summer we could go about doing theatre. We knew we would need to have small audiences and outdoors would work best,” Lewis said.
The lineup includes Playwriting 101: the Rooftop Lesson by Rich Orloff and directed by Cathie Hamm, Louis and Dave by Norm Foster and directed by Kate Bertenshaw and Snocky by Jules Tasca and directed by Lewis.
In a teaser promoting the series, the WLST suggests: “What do two people cruising on a Friday night, a frustrated play-writing professor and an illicit meeting in a hotel room have in common? They are three plays in our outdoor summer production called ‘Garden Shorts’.”
Auditions have been held outdoors, with the last one slated for Thursday, June 17, and all the rehearsals will be outdoors.
Stephanie Ewen, manager of the University of British Columbia Alex Fraser Research Forest, heard WLST was looking for a place to host some outdoor theatre.
She offered WLST the use of outdoor space at the 55-acre property on Fox Mountain the research forest purchased in 2020.
“We’ve been looking to diversify our revenue,” Ewen said.
Lewis said she and some others toured the area and decided it would be a great venue and determined where they could stage the plays.
People attending the performances will be asked to bring a chair.
All three plays will happen at the same time and the audience will watch one play and then pick up their chairs and walk to the next one.
To select the plays, WLST members went through different scripts and chose comedies conducive to an outdoor setting.
“We have small casts, really simple sets and are just using the sunlight — it truly will be outdoor theatre,” Lewis said.
Scheduled to run Thursday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 8, Lewis said they hope to make it a picnic theatre type of event and once more information is confirmed she will share it with the public.
During the pandemic, WLST members have stayed connected virtually.
They produced a radio play version of A Christmas Carol, met to read 10-minute plays, had trivia nights and an annual general meeting — all over Zoom.