Stage role inAlberni a natural

John Milne takes his place onstage as part of The Importance of Being Earnest

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. The News continues its feature on the actors behind the play with John Milne.

Support worker by day and British manservant by night: John Milne is keeping all home fires alight in the Alberni Valley.

When Milne takes the stage at Capitol Theatre in May as Merriman, Jack Worthington’s valet-manservant in the Portal Players upcoming rendition of Oscar Wilde’s classic play, The Importance of Being Earnest, he will be playing a character that comes naturally to him.

Milne spends the majority of his time ensuring that other people’s lives are more comfortable, in a quiet, gentle and unassuming manner. Milne is a residential support worker, assisting Persons Served.

“I work to make sure that everyone is living the best life possible,” Milne explains of his post. “And I often think: I get paid for this, too? It’s great.”

Outside of the theatre, Milne spends the rest of his free time with his family. Wife, Connie, and sister, Ann Collins, co-owner of Collins Farm, get the lion’s share.

“The most fun I have with Connie is every day of my life,” Milne says of his wife. “And my family has always been very supportive and helpful of me, so I help them back in any way I can.”

Milne actually got his acting debut by dressing up as a spook on Farmer Bill’s Haunted Hayride some years ago. That gave him the idea that acting for larger audiences might be fun.

And it has been. Acting led to directing at the Capitol Theatre, too.

“I like to direct a larger, more complex play,” he says. “I really liked the last one act I directed – The Still Alarm by George S. Kaufman. Every time I assumed the role of director, it has been something more valuable learned. And even what seemed negative at the time can eventually be seen in a more positive light.”

Milne, for The Importance of Being Earnest, is delighted to be directed under the prowess of award-winning directors, Derek and Debra Burke, in May.

•••

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.

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