Six Great Plays in a Five Day Festival

A week of plays by theatre clubs throughout the region opens on May 4 at the North Peace Cultural Centre in Fort St. John when the 2010 Peace River Zone Theatre Festival takes to the stage. Six different shows from the communities of Tumbler Ridge, Dawson Creek and Fort St. John will compete for an opportunity to represent the Peace Region at the provincial competition in July.

Tickets are only $10 adult and $8 student or senior per show. Festival passes for all six shows is $48/$36

Performances during the week start at 7:30pm with the Saturday matinee at 1pm and Saturday evening at 8pm. Saturday evening begins with a Meet and Greet at 6pm and all Saturday evening ticket holders are welcome. The Awards Ceremony will follow the evening performance. Adjudicator Andrew McIlroy from Vancouver will be selecting all awards and the Best Production of the Festival.

The first production of the Theatre Festival is I, Claudia by Kristen Thomson. This show that recently played to appreciative audiences at the North Peace Cultural Centre features 15 year-old Karleigh Smith of Fort St. John. She is the single actress playing four roles using masks. Original music by local musician Dayna Manning is premiered in the play. Director Oliver Hachmeister of Stage North says, “ People will have this one last chance to see the amazing work that Karleigh is doing in this show on May 4.”

Solo actor Tom Kirschner plays 11 different roles in Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll by Eric Bogosian on Wednesday, May 5. Tom is one of two main actors of Bridge to Broadway, a Fort St. John theatre company. The other actor, Dennis Szalai will be helping to stage this production instead of acting in it. “One man shows are challenging, but, as the only actor, I have the advantage of knowing all the characters intimately,” Tom said with his usual mischievous smile.

Playwright Cynthia Livingstone wrote and directed The Melancholy Minstrel scheduled for Thursday, May 6 at the Theatre Festival. The Fort St. John Players of the Association for Community Living are a troupe of actors who have developmental disabilities and a great love of performing. The Melancholy Minstrel is the third instalment in the ‘Melancholy’ trilogy, following on the heels of The Melancholy King and The Melancholy Wizard. A washed-up minstrel, Pete Boggs, seeks a Muse to rekindle his passion for music. Cynthia said, “This is a tale of finding love and inspiration right under our noses, in the course of everyday life.”

Elvis comes to town on Friday, May 7 in Toronto Mississippi  by Canadian playwright Joan MacLeod.  An estranged father returns home after a long absence hoping to rekindle the family spirit. The father, played by Blair Scott, is an Elvis Impersonator and the young girl, played by Melanie Truscott, is a mentally handicapped teenager. The story is about hidden truths and the pain and joy of discovery. Stage North Director Terry Boyle said, “The play carries a whole range of emotions from passion to pain to compassion.”

Saturday, May 8 at 1pm in the afternoon, Dawson Creek’s Dionysus Theatre will present Sylvia by A.R. Gurney. Sylvia is a comedy about a dog, played by a person. Director Darcy Frost said, “This is a great role for an actress who must embody the ‘soul’ of a dog and anyone who has ever loved a dog will relate to the play. " A middle-aged couple in Manhattan finds their empty nest marriage thrown into tumult when a Labradoodle-ish stray with a dog tag reading "Sylvia" bounds into their lives. 

Tumbler Ridge’s Grizzly Valley Players will present the last show of the Festival at 8pm on Saturday, May 8. Directed by Erin Hanna, November by Don Nigro is a story of Aunt Liz trapped in a nursing home while her niece and husband try to steal and destroy her farm. Her life is further complicated by a colourful cast of characters and memories of long ago. “The actors have taken their roles very seriously in this drama. It will evoke many conflicting feelings from those who see the show,” said Director Erin. 


For further information:

Contact Festival Chairman Jim Peltier250-787-0342 or

 Sue Popesku Treasurer 250-785-6214

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