Big Win for Local High School Thespians

Winners of the Peace River Zone Festival display their awards before diving into the congratulatory cake at the celebration after the Festival on Saturday night. From the left: Mason Temple, Melissa Beaumeister, Stephen Drover, Ted Sloan, Dallas Ashdown, Dennis Szalai, Carli Vance, Braden Lock, Jamie Lock.

For the first time the Peace River Zone Theatre Festival will be represented at Mainstage 2013 by an original play written, directed, and acted by high school students from Fort St. John. The winners of the regional theatre Festival were announced Saturday night at the closing of the three day competition among community theatre clubs. The winning play, written and directed by local high school student Mason Temple, won the Best Production among other awards. Adjudicator Stephen Drover of Vancouver praised the group from the Spectacular Chair Factory theatre club for their insight, character development and bravery in staging the show.

The Best Production Award went to Hallways, a festival entry by the Spectacular Chair Factory Theatre Club. The club is a newly formed young people’s theatre club that entered another show in the festival as well. Three additional awards went to Hallways. The entire cast won Best Ensemble and Best Set (Cameron Wilson and Terrence Zhou). Plus Mason Temple won the Best Newbie for his role as a first time playwright and director of a show.

Adjudicator Stephen Drover emphasized that he is awarding Exceptional Awards rather that Best Awards. He said that all the shows had elements of exceptional and the choice is sometimes not easy to make.

Best Director was won by Ted Sloan for The Breakfast Club. This play, also an entry of the  Spectacular Chair Factory received more awards than either of the other shows: Best Technical (Jenn Merrett and Ted Sloan), Best Costumes (Melissa Baumeister), Best Supporting Actress (Carli Vance), and Best Supporting Actor (Braden Lock). Braden Lock, a local high school student, adapted the show for the stage which had never been done before.

The Stage North Theatre Society’s Take Five won three awards with Runner Up Best Production. The Runner Up is eligible to represent the Peace River Theatre Zone at Mainstage in Kamloops in July if the winning play cannot go. Stage North won Best Actress (Jamie Lock) and Best Actor (Dennis Szalai).

Spectacular Chair Factory will be fundraising in the next month to raise enough money to get the cast and crew to Mainstage in Kamloops to compete among other selected performances from throughout the province.Hallways will perform Friday, July 12, at 12 noon in Kamloops. The Peace River Zone committee kicks off the fundraising efforts with a $2000 grant.

For further information please contact: Mason Temple (Hallways) 250-794-8088, Braden Lock (Spectacular Chair Factory) 250-263-2201, Dale Hillman (Peace River Zone Theatre) 250-793-6715