Alberni set designer immerses himself in art nouveau era

Alberni Valley artist Chris Doman is a veritable powerhouse in the realm of colour, design and paint.

Chris Doman

Chris Doman

Portal Players Dramatic Society will present The Importance of Being Earnest as their entry in the North Island Zone Drama Festival in town in May. Today, the News features set designer Chris Doman this week.

 

Artist Chris Doman is a veritable powerhouse in the realm of colour, design and paint. Next week, Port Alberni will be the beneficiary of his artistic prowess when The Importance of Being Earnest opens on May 5 at the Capitol Theatre.

Doman, who moved to Port Alberni three years ago with his partner, Ann Cullen, hails from Sidney where he taught high school art for 25 years. Now retired, he has the time and energy necessary to dedicate full time to being an exceptional artist.

Designing the set for The Importance of Being Earnest was no stretch for Doman, either. He did some set work throughout his university years and, later, as art teacher at Parkland Secondary School he was responsible for the annual set design of elaborate musicals.

“Portal Players is comprised of so many talented people,” Doman says of organizing a construction and painting crew for the set he designed. “Gathering a team was not difficult.”

Doman says that working on the Oscar Wilde play was a no-brainer, having worked on sets for Portal Players for the past three years.

“I love the challenge of mixing the Victorian era and making it workable for the modern performance.”

He admits that art nouveau is also one of his Achilles heels, and getting to work in the era is a thrill. The Importance of Being Earnest is the appropriate platform from which to showcase the time with bold backdrops and furniture.

Fittingly, Doman also sits on the Portal Players board of directors, occupying the education committee chair.

When not at Capitol Theatre for one thing or another, Doman creates art at his home studio, and was recently featured on the Port Alberni Art Studio Tour in late April.

Doman chose Port Alberni as his retirement community because he was drawn here.

“Ann and I love the area—all of the natural beauty—and buying a home here was affordable,” he says. “We saw the potential for cultural contribution offered here and we like to get involved—it was a great fit.”

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The Importance of Being Earnest opens May 5 and runs through to May 21 at Port Alberni’s Capitol Theatre on Argyle Street. It is Portal Players’ entry in the North Island Zone Drama Festival that is being held at Capitol Theatre this year.

The Importance of Being Earnest competes in the festival on May 22. For tickets, please call the box office at: (250) 723-1195.