Auditions on Sunday at Main Artery for ‘Mudflaps’

Port Alberni's Art Matters Society president Gwynne Hunt is looking for nine women to star in her original social justice play.

Auditions begin this Sunday, March 24 for Mudflaps, a fringe festival production. Gwynne Hunt of the Art Matters Society, and owner of Main Artery on Argyle Street in Port Alberni, wrote the play for the Fraser Valley Fringe Theatre Festival in 2001. She is resurrecting it for Port Alberni’s inaugural Social Justice and the Arts day, May 18.

Mudflaps combines the stories of several women and can be done as a reader’s theatre as they sit on chairs and can read the monologues. The stories are woven together by Icon, who is the social conscience of the piece. The pain is raw and stories are based on women Hunt interviewed in 2001.

Hunt needs nine women for the play, but only has three or four committed to audition. Characters include Elizabeth, who was sexually abused as a child. Helen grew up on a farm in the early 1940s and lost seven babies before she escaped the beatings. Darby is a lesbian with multiple personalities.

Casey ran away from an abusive husband and had to leave her child behind. The sex trade worker would rather be dead then missing because as she says, “missing is not a very safe place to be”. Mrs. B, a bitter survivor, feels superior to the rest of the women because she just “got on with her life”.

Throughout the film the poet reads bits of poems by Hunt, with the signature poem being one of hope for the future.

Hunt describes Mudflaps as “a 45-minute panic attack; heartbreaking but like most panic there are moments of relief.”

Auditions take place Sunday from 3–5 p.m. at Main Artery, Argyle Street just up from Third Avenue. Rehearsals will start in mid-April. Anyone wishing to audition who cannot make Sunday’s event can call Hunt at 250-723-3331 and make alternate arrangements.

Hunt is also planning to put on a fringe festival in Port Alberni from June 21-23. She has six out-of-town fringe plays on the program so far, but is looking for a local director to take on a Port Alberni-based production.