North Island Zone Drama Fest begins in Earnest

This weekend will be the public’s final chance to see Portal Players Dramatic Society’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest at Port Alberni’s Capitol Theatre.

Teresa Drew

This weekend will be the public’s final chance to see Portal Players Dramatic Society’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest at Port Alberni’s Capitol Theatre.

The amateur theatre company wraps up its regular run before opening the Theatre BC North Island Zone Drama Festival with their final performance of Earnest on Sunday, May 22.

This classic comedy has had local audiences laughing out loud for the past few weeks and is now about to draw to a close. Final performances will take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Then on Sunday, an evening performance will begin the week-long drama fest at the Capitol.

Directors Derek and Debbie Burke, along with their cast and crew, are excited about opening this year’s festival. “We’ve all put a lot of time and effort into this production and we think it has paid off,” says Derek Burke.

“I am looking forward to the feedback from our out-of-town visitors — not only about our show but also about our wonderful theatre.”

When asked about his thoughts on the possibility of returning some hardware to the Capitol’s trophy case, he replied “It all depends on the kindness of the theatre gods. The North Island zone has many strong clubs and the competition for awards will be fierce; but regardless of how we do in the competition, we always learn a lot from the festival experience and that helps to make us a better theatre for the folks in Port Alberni.”

Portal Players members have been busy for the last six months preparing for Earnest and the festival. Peter Weinold, festival committee chair appeared with PPDS president Brent Ronning last week in front of city council to have May 22–28 declared Festival Week in Port Alberni and detail the amazing things going on at the Capitol in the coming months.

“Festival is always an amazing time for theatre lovers,” says Weinold.

“The best theatre the Island has to offer is going to be at the Capitol that week. Clubs who come to perform always bring their A-game and the material is always interesting and varied.”

Six North Island clubs from Parksville, Courtenay, Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach, Campbell River Port  Alberni will be presenting at this year’s event.

The lineup includes comedy, drama, tragedy and thrillers. Aging, nuclear arms, marriage, family ties and strange friendships are some of the themes of the coming entertainment.

A full list of shows and more information is available on line.

Tickets for the last week of The Importance of Being Earnest are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and students and are available at the Capitol box office.

All individual tickets for festival performances are $15, however you can pick three shows for $40 or see the entire week’s entertainment for $60.

For more information on these or any events at the Capitol go online to www.atthecapitol.org.

 

Here are the plays:

◆ SUNDAY, MAY 22 Portal Players open the festival with The Importance of Being Earnest.

◆ MONDAY, MAY 23 Parksville presents The Petition (curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. for all performances).

◆ TUESDAY, MAY 24 Courtenay Little Theatre presents Half Life.

◆ WEDNESDAY, MAY 25 Nanaimo’s Over the River and Through the Woods.

◆ THURSDAY, MAY 26 Echo Players (Qualicum) present Lettice and Lovage.

◆ FRIDAY, MAY 27 Rivercity Players perform Veronica’s Room.

◆ DETAILS, DETAILS: Doors open at 6:30 p.m., curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. nightly.

◆ TICKETS: $15 each, $60 for the full week or $40 for three shows. Call 250-723-1195 or visit the box office at the Capitol Theatre.

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