Strike upstages Alberni theatre students at VIU

Theatre students from Port Alberni are among those impacted by the strike by university instructors.

Vancouver Island University Theatre students—including half a dozen from Port Alberni—are stuck with a production and nowhere to stage it, thanks to a strike by university instructors.

Wedgie, a play written by Jason Patrick Rothery, was to have opened with a gala event Thursday, March 31 at Malaspina Theatre, located on the Nanaimo university campus.

However, strike action has meant the students have no place to rehearse nor perform.

“Not only have we spent our personal time, we have already paid a deposit on catering,” an Upper Level Theatre Students spokesperson said in a statement.

“Our current plan is to bring our fully catered event as close to the Malaspina Theatre as possible. Unless the strike is resolved, Thursday, March 31 (the gala night) will be performed on the VIU picket line in favour of resolving the strike dispute.

“We are currently looking for alternate venues for the second two evenings, but if nothing is available we plan to perform for the protesters and any others that might pass by and want to see a quality show.”

Wedgie tells the story of Anderson Elementary, a playground at war both with Jacob’s Junior High and itself. The confusion of preteen living is represented through the struggles of war and rampant bullying, presented by an ensemble cast (Parental discretion advised).

Port Alberni actors include director Carrera Schroeder, producer Wendy Karpuik, stage manager Robyn Cross and production team member Nick Barrett and actors Cody Taylor and Demi Pedersen.

All proceeds for the show have been allotted between the Mike Monych Scholarship Fund and to support the children/students of FARKWA Secondary School in Tanzania.

“We are incredibly attached to this cause, and have been working on this event since September,” the spokesperson said.

Anyone able to help out with performance or rehearsal space, silent auction items or donations are asked to phone 250-616-2745, or e-mail malaspina.theatre.students@gmail.com.

Tickets by donation on the picket line, or if a venue is found they will be $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors.

The play will start at 5 p.m. on the picket line.