Kristine Larsen (Ruth), Barbara Berry (Jessie), Amy Bell (Cora), Liz Saville (Celia), Jennifer Goodsell (Chris) and Bev Steeves (Annie) star in Calendar Girls, which is Powerhouse Theatre’s offering to the Okanagan Zone Festival May 19-25. (Kiss the Monkey Photography)

Festival highlights Okanagan theatre

Theatre BC’s Okanagan Zone Festival comes to Vernon May 19-25

Community theatre is just as good as professional theatre, just without the price tag.

That’s the message embedded in Theatre BC’s Okanagan Zone Festival (Ozone), which takes Vernon’s Powerhouse Theatre stage May 19-25, said administrator Richard Kerton.

“Community theatre companies do shows at the same level as the professionals, but they do it because they love it,” Kerton said. “It’s not something performed to kids in a high school. We’ve moved past that era.”

The Ozone, one of Theatre BC’s 10 zones, sees seven theatre companies from Princeton to Kamloops perform nightly in Vernon for a chance at claiming Best Production.

Adjudicated by professional dramaturge Andrew McIlroy, the winner of Best Production will then compete against other zone winners in Theatre BC’s provincial Mainstage festival in Vernon June 29 to July 6.

“The object is to be the best,” Kerton laughed. “The Okanagan has strong theatre companies. There’s a lot of community theatre in this zone and it builds stronger support. Some are doing really good work but it’s tough for them to get to that point.”

Ozone festivities kick off with Vernon’s own Powerhouse Theatre and their performance of Calendar Girls.

“I know Calendar Girls is doing really well,” Kerton said of the performance that runs until May 12.

Related: Cast bares it all on stage for Calendar Girls

Kelowna’s Fred Skeleton brings The Drowning Girls May 20, followed by KCTS Kelowna Theatre Society’s The Fighting Season May 21, Salmon Arm’s Shuswap Theatre with Perfect Pie May 22, Kamloops Players Society’s two one-acts Whisper into my Good Ear and Mrs. Dally has a Lover May 23, Oliver’s South Okanagan Amateur Players with Outside Mullingar May 24 and Princeton’s Crimson Tine Players with A Fine Monster You Are May 25.

Following the nightly performances, McIlroy will lead a coffee critique where ticket holders and theatre companies have the opportunity to come together and gain professional insight. Because for Kerton, that’s truly what Ozone is about.

“This is one way of bringing everyone together to get that advice, and it builds collaborative efforts,” Kerton said. “I’ve been doing this a long time so I’m passionate about it.”

Coffee critiques also allow the audience to participate and learn the backbones of what goes into putting a production on stage.

At the end of the week, McIlroy will announce the winners as the theatre companies and audience enjoy dinner during the Ozone Awards Banquet at the Schubert Centre May 26.

And, after the winner is announced, it will be time to gear up for Mainstage, which will be in Vernon for the second consecutive year.

“It’s a bit of a challenge because doing it back to back takes up a lot of resources,” Kerton said of Mainstage.

Related: Festival celebrates BC community theatre

Next year, the festival will be held in Port Alberni.

“It moves around to highlight that community and bring to the forefront the aspects of community theatre and the gems about that theatre,” Kerton said.

Tickets to Ozone Festival events are $25 single show, $69 three day pass, $110 five day pass or $140 seven-day pass for all events excluding the banquet, for which tickets are $40. For showtimes and to purchase tickets, contact the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.


Parker Crook | Reporter

@MrParkerJCrook

Send Parker an email.
Like the The Morning Star on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Avalanche control scheduled tomorrow on Highway 1 east of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled along Highway 1 on Dec 15. From… Continue reading

Highlights from recent school board meeting in Revelstoke

Soon-to-arrive Syrian family, budget update, and upcoming silent action were discussed

Okanagan College unlocks time capsule

Items placed in 1993 and kept in capsule in library opened at special ceremony

Special Public Avalanche Warning for Most Mountainous Regions of BC

Avalanche Canada is issuing a Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational backcountry… Continue reading

Revelstoke developer frustrated with permit delays

Phase 2-3 of Mackenzie Village has been with city staff for 18 months

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Final phase of Kelowna hospital cardiac centre completed

Finishing new recovery rooms last stage of $381 million project

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Most Read